Monday, October 25, 2010

You Are Set Free

October 25, 2010
Monday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Ephesians 5:8-9

He was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath. And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect. When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, "Woman, you are set free of your infirmity." He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God. Luke 13:10-13

Happy those who do not follow the counsel of the wicked, Nor go the way of sinners, nor sit in company with scoffers.
Rather, the law of the LORD is their joy; God's law they study day and night.
They are like a tree planted near streams of water, that yields its fruit in season; Its leaves never wither; whatever they do prospers.
But not the wicked! They are like chaff driven by the wind.
Therefore the wicked will not survive judgment, nor will sinners in the assembly of the just.
The LORD watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin. (Psalm 1:1-6)

“Let God love you.” With these words, Sister Agnes kicked off a recent weekend for men at the Dominican Retreat House. Today’s scripture passage reminds me of that little instruction. Let God love you, on God’s terms.

If we behave like God, then the very first song in the Book of Psalms gives us a luxurious image of what our life will be like. The crippled woman wanted to prosper so she woke up that morning and decided to head to the synagogue and ask for healing. She, too, knew it was the Sabbath. Yet she was willing to let God love her on God’s terms.

The crippled woman turned to Jesus for his love and was healed. No matter what our affliction or addiction, filling our lives with Jesus gives up the chance to replace what ails us with who love us. When we fully rely on God, we can stand straight up for Him no matter what or whom is the adversary.

Sometimes, we put our possessions or our leadership positions in society, jobs, church or elsewhere ahead of letting God love us. That is the attitude taken by the leader of this synagogue who told Jesus not to cure on the Sabbath. He was still living in darkness.

If we let God love us, who are we to tell God when to love us? God does not mark time in minutes, hours or days. God does not mark time in weeks, months or even years. God is present always and loves us always. Neither we nor any synagogue leader can erect barriers nor burdens nor limits to that love because as we read in Romans, “nothing can stop us from the love of our God.”

St. Paul tells us to be imitators of God. As we move into the light of the Lord, we must be like God in the example of Jesus who encouraged us to be perfect as the Father is perfect. We may not attain perfection but that does not mean perfection is not a goal for us.

Thinking in terms of a strategic plan, if perfection is the goal, then we can pursue perfection with one objective: Share God’s love by putting love in action everyday by being merciful to all those you encounter.

Who will be the object of your perfection pursuit today? Who will you encounter next? Maybe that is why he or she was sent into your life. See everyone you meet today as an instrument sent by God to let you love them as God loves them. The next person you meet may hold your ticket to perfection (heaven). All aboard!