Saturday, November 13, 2010

Arise the Sun of Justice

November 14, 2010
Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

For lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, And the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of hosts. But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays. Malachi 3:19-20a

“…[T]hey will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.” Luke 21:12-15

Piety is our connection with Christ. Christ is not meant to be an odd moment of our day. Rather Christ is meant to be our very life. Our Gospel today gives us the same awareness the death of a good friend offers us. We are not meant for this world. All the threats against life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness fall into place as idle threats when we realize we are born into this world to praise, reverence and to serve our God. Hints of our mortality are nothing more than presages of a better time to come. We are made for Christ. Our living in Christ now by immersing our lives with his and bringing him into our world allows us to face the values that are most important. Our Gospel says it well. By our perseverance in Christ we will secure our lives. All the costly stones and votive offerings we see will pass away and we will be left with what really counts in life. Our living life to the example of Christ brings Christ into our lives and allows us to model Christ to our day and age. Christ is our way, our truth and the value of our lives.

Behavior is a reflection of what we really believe. What we see in another is what we get. Paul asks that his behavior be taken seriously. Paul is saying that his example is what he preaches. When we see his actions we know what he believes. The best sermon we will ever give is the story of our lives. Our perseverance in what we believe gives us the freedom to die that we might be with the Lord. The Hidden Life Grace tells us that what we do is not what is important. Rather it is with how much love we do what we do that makes the difference. So we are encouraged to work quietly in the Lord Jesus Christ and to earn our way to heaven by how much love we do what we can do for one another. We do not have to look or wait for something worthwhile to give all our energy and effort to. Rather we need to do the insignificant in the significant way that love makes possible. In all that we do, we need to put our heart and soul into doing for the sake of Christ.

Christ is the way and the truth of every good action of our lives. I bring Christ into my life by inviting him. Each morning I begin my day with the prayer of Ignatius. “Direct O Lord, I beseech you, all my actions by your divine inspirations. May my every thought, word and action of this day begin from your inspirations and be carried out by your gracious assistance.” Whatever happens around us becomes unimportant as long as I live my day for the Lord. At the end of the day, no matter what has happened it behooves us to check out by the Examen of the Consciousness of Christ in our day how well he has used us and how closely involved he has been in our lives. Because a moment spent with the Lord is worth a thousand years, it only takes the action of our now to make our entire life worthwhile. All our life is a preparation for what we are now doing and if we do what we do for the Lord, we are always ready for his final call. No moment has to be feared if it carries the possibility of bringing us home to the Resurrection.