Saturday, January 29, 2011

Seek Humility

January 30, 2011
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

Seek the LORD, all you humble of the earth, who have observed his law; Seek justice, seek humility; perhaps you may be sheltered on the day of the LORD'S anger. Zephaniah 2:3

Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Matthew 5:12a

Piety brings closeness to Christ in our own lives. Christ calls the little people of the world. The Beatitudes express their littleness of his disciples. They also express the very personhood of Christ. He opens the scroll of Isaiah to chapter 61 when he comes back to his home town and claims its meaning for himself. He has chosen the Messianic vision of the Suffering Servant as the truth of himself. The happiness from suffering in one’s life belongs to the realization of how close it brings one to Christ. Christ calls the little people of our world to be his disciples. The Disciples of Christ radiate a peacefulness t hat speaks volumes about closeness of Christ in one’s life. God sent his only son into our world that by his suffering for us God would have the reason to love us because our piety allows us to claim the suffering of Christ for our own forgiveness. Our piety brings us to a genuine love of the Christ of the Cross. Our hearts love for Christ hears the call of discipleship as the call to take up our crosses of life and to follow Christ.

Paul says it as it is. We are neither wise by human standards, nor powerful nor of noble birth. God chose the weak of the world to confound the strong. We learn not to boast on what we have done. We boast in the Lord who gives us his life as the forgiveness for what we have failed in by our weaknesses. We study Christ because Christ is the Wisdom of God. We learn how Christ is our righteousness by looking at how his life influences our lives. Christ is what makes our lives special in the closeness we have to him. We study how we can become more like him. We believe in the reward waiting for us in heaven which makes our crosses the victory of Christ in our time and age. We study how to be just like Christ.

We shall not let the fear of poverty make us fear because we know in our poverty of Spirit that the kingdom of heaven belongs to us. We do not protect ourselves from the sorrows of those who suffer around us because we know we can be their comfort in the “worthwhileness” of what they suffer. We make friends of the meek because they will inherit the land. We search out what we can do for those that hunger and thirst for righteousness so that we can be satisfied with them. We show mercy to all that we might have mercy, What we put up with for the sake of Christ will be our claim to fame in heaven and we can rejoice and be glad at what might seem a dumb choice to others because we know that what we do for the sake of Christ will be rewarded in heaven by our closeness to Christ in this life. We might be a people humble and without great comfort in the eyes of the world, but we know by the beatitudes that the hundredfold from following Christ in all was just a beginning of happiness when we see what is waiting for us in heaven. The Lord sets us free in the peace that goes with the beatitudes as we follow Christ to his Cross.