Sunday, January 23, 2011

This I Seek

January 23, 2011
Third Sunday of Ordinary Time A
By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, As they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing spoils. Isaiah 9:1-2

For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning. 1 Corinthians 1:17

From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matthew 4:17

How easy it is to be misled by appearances. Flash in the pan people can capture a moment of attention and with the first bit of darkness they are gone. We judge people by appearances and miss the depth that exists in genuinely good people. Shallow souls do not run deep. Places of birth and wealth do not of themselves make a good person. Goodness is the light of Christ that shines in deep souls that are there for us in our darkest times. The land of gloom gives way to the love of Christ. His light reaches the ends of the earth. We are called to wait for the Lord with courage. We must be stouthearted if we want the message of the Lord to take root in our hearts.

The Lord is our light and our salvation. We dwell in the house of the Lord when we let our love guide us to the temple of the Lord. Wherever there is love, the Lord is there. The love of God exceeds the furthest expression of our human longing. The limits of our faults and weaknesses do not have to keep us from the peace and the joy the vision of the glory of the Lord brings us. The love of the cross of Christ, the tree of glory, can free us to the vision of the glory that will be ours by virtue of our share in the cross of Christ. The splinters of life, the little pains can form the throne of the glory waiting for us when we meet Christ who smashes the rod of the taskmasters of our lives. The one thing we must seek is to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of our lives.

We must resolve to live in unity with one another with no divisions among us. We are called to work for the harmony of the house of the Lord. We are called to treat each other better than ourselves. We do not have our dignity from anyone other than Christ. We are one with each other in our love for Christ. We operate with the graces Christ gives us. We are his disciples and it is the cross of Christ which is our salvation. Avila would say “If I had your graces I would do half of what you do. If you had my graces, you would do twice as much.” We will never really know who the great saints of our lives are. We need to treat each person as better than ourselves. It is Christ that we serve in one another. It is Christ that calls us to follow him in the tasks of life. Christ proclaims the gospel of the Kingdom. It is the love of God we proclaim. The following of Christ is always in what we are doing now. We are not saving up our energy for some tremendous event. The kingdom is now as we do the ordinary of our lives with the love of Christ which makes everything we do the extraordinary of the Kingdom of God.