Saturday, August 25, 2012

Choose This Day Whom You Will Serve

Choose This DayWhom You Will Serve

August 26, 2012

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time 2012 B

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

And if you be unwilling to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."  Joshua 24:15
“No man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.”  Ephesians 5:29-30

Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?"  Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."  John 6:67-69


Faith is a gift.  God calls us to the life of his son.  In our freedom we can accept the gift.  Our piety is how we live the gift of our faith.  Freedom is an absolute gift of God.  God does not force us to accept his gift.  He respects our freedom to accept it and to live it.  How we live the freedom of our faith is how we give back to God our freedom.  The prayer of Ignatius is the dedication of our freedom back to God.  “Take and receive O lord, my mind, my will and my intellect.  Everything I have, you have given to me.  I gladly return it to you.  I ask for only one thing.  Your grace and your love is enough for me.”  I often tell the Lord that I want one more thing.  I would like to know that I am obedient to his will.  We serve the Lord because he is our God.  By the actions of Christ discovered in the Scriptures, we know who it is we are serving by our piety.  We go to Christ in the Eucharist because Christ has the words of eternal life for us.  Christ gives us the way to serve, we know his word as the truth of our lives and in truth Christ is the deepest meaning of who we are meant to be.


We study the Lord by joining ourselves to what we know about his life.  We accompany him by our prayer in the journey of his life.  We accept Christ as our brother and our Lord.  Our hearts tell us that Christ is the word of the Father’s love for us.  We study the lives of the saints because they reveal to us how Christ would live in each and every age of our world.  Christ is the deepest meaning of the lives of the saints because they are transparencies of who Christ would be in each and every one of us.  Christ would be our very life.  He takes us by Eucharist into himself even as we grow into Christ by feeding our spiritual hunger with the gift of his Eucharist.


There is no better action in our lives than our Eucharistic action.  When we grow in his presence in us, he fills us with his life.  Our emptiness is what he fills.  We become Eucharist by our lives in how we give ourselves to doing something about the hungry, thirsty, naked, prisoners and sick of our lives.  Christ takes what we do for the least ones of our lives as done for him.  Our emptying ourselves out for the sake of the needs of our people makes us Eucharist for them even as Christ is Eucharist for us.  We go to Christ because he has the words of eternal life.  Our Eucharist is our claim on the eternity of God’s love.  When we give Christ away to others by the Eucharist of our lives, he comes to our emptiness and fills us again and again.  When we serve up Christ by our lives we find the happiness of eternal life in the daily good of our action for others.  We can never run out of Eucharist because Christ comes to all we do in his name.  We have tasted and seen the goodness of the Lord because he is the true fullness of our emptiness.  We serve the Lord because he is our God.  Eucharist makes us into the best of God’s love.  With Peter we say when Christ asks us if we are going to leave him, “…to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”  We believe Christ gives us his life.  And because we have died with Christ, we believe we will rise with him to eternal life.

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