Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy are all who fear the LORD

October 26, 2010
Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

By Beth DeCristofaro

Brothers and sisters: Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21)

For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the Church, because we are members of his Body. (Ephesians 5:29)

Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.” (Luke 13:18,19)

O God, enlighten our leaders and those who are running for office. Strengthen them spiritually. May they overcome partisan differences and be true public servants for the benefit of everyone in our country while remembering the needs of our global neighbors. Give us the courage to fulfill our civil duties yet always following first the Risen Christ, who through his Passion, has truly brought us spiritual victory for our salvation.
(based on the words of Cardinal Luis Aponte Martinez)

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians speaks about the great mystery of Christ’s relationship to the church and brings it home to how we, members of Christ’s body and children of God, should live out that relationship. It is rooted in love! Respect and life is precious. Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ. He uses the analogies of husband and wife and Christ and church. We could use the analogy of neighbors, friends, or even people who are different from us because it is Christ’s sacrifice which allows us to live.

We marvel that the mustard seed becomes a huge plant; it shows us God’s wonder. But there is a miracle within the marvel because the bush is larger than its own life as it provides homes for birds and nourishment for humans. God’s creation is so precious and such a generous gift. As we grow in our relationship with God, do we provide a home for others to sing their songs or in which to find fruit?

Despite sin, despite failure, despite human refusal to humbly accept our own smallness God so loves us and the mystery of Christ’s love of us prevails. Strive this week to consider how much you – and every human – are loved.

As Election Day gets closer, the rhetoric and accusations are increasingly disrespectful, hateful, hurtful and often full of lies. Try to humbly take your place as a member of Christ’s body and consider that other perspectives might have some good, some truth within them. Take time each day before the elections to pray for politicians and (this one might be difficult) journalists and “pundits”, especially those members with whom you most disagree. Pray that love motivate them not greed or desire for power. Don’t pray that the election will go the way you want. Pray instead that the life-giving force of love prevail. If we, as members of Christ’s body are busy praying, we will have less time to be part of the divisiveness.