Saturday, February 12, 2011

Go First and Be Reconciled

February 13, 2011
Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

If you choose you can keep the commandments; it is loyalty to do his will. There are set before you fire and water; to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand. Sirach 15:15-16

[W]e speak God's wisdom, mysterious, hidden, which God predetermined before the ages for our glory, and which none of the rulers of this age knew; for if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Corinthians 2:7-8

Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Matthew 5:17-18

Righteousness has the stamp of piety. “Yes” means “yes” and “no” means “no.” It is not that we wear our hearts on our sleeves. It is more a case of what you see is what you have. There is no two ways about anything. We do what our hearts tell us to do. The law of the Lord is written on our hearts. Goodness is a way of life. What we have accomplished in our Spiritual journey is a commitment to the commandments of the Lord. We have heard in the depths of our heart what the Lord is asking of us. Hopefully we have reached the point in our lives where we would rather die than violate the commandments. Mortal Sin is no longer a choice of our lives. Even venial sin is less of a worry because we are trying as best we can to do what is right. The image I like is that I am following the Lord in my choices of life. I am always trying to be as close to him as I possibly can. If I were to discover the Lord going in the opposite direction, I would change horses in midstream once I discovered it was the Lord I was going away from. Immense is the wisdom of the Lord. We realize he is mighty in power, and all seeing. We live to act justly and to do what is right. We realize the Lord understands our heart and we are determined to do what he is asking of us as immediately as we can once we discover what the Lord prefers.

Our study teaches us that we are blessed when we follow the law of the Lord. We accept God’s promise to remain with those who do what is just and right. Our study is how we beg the Lord that we might live in the presence of the Lord. We realize all too well that the fact I think I am following the Lord’s will does not guarantee that I am doing so. We study what we do because we know it pleases God that we have the desire to please the Lord. Because we have studied our road we know we can trust that the Lord is with us and will not leave us to face our perils alone.

The best of our actions is the Examen of the consciousness of Christ being with us. Even as we start our day by turning our lives over to the Lord that he can use us, we finish our day searching out how well he was able to use us. This wisdom belongs to those who are mature. It is not wisdom of this age that we are living in, where materialism, secularism and individualism rule the choices of the immature. Our choices are ruled by what eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, but by what has entered the human heart. Our choices are ruled by what God has prepared for those who love him. We invoke the spirit who scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God. Our actions are based on the plan of God for us. We try to act on decisions that reflect our appreciation of our destiny to live our lives in Christ. Our surrender to God’s way of doing things begins with the Morning Offering of ourselves to the Lord and finishes with our prayer of gratitude in the evening for all the ways he not only kept us close to him, but allowed us to live our lives in God’s wisdom which is found in our crucified Lord. We give thanks that he also used us for his greater honor and glory.