Saturday, September 01, 2012

Be Doers of the Word

Be Doers of the Word

September 2, 2012
Twenty-second Sunday of Ordinary Time B
By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ
Observe them carefully, for thus will you give evidence of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations, who will hear of all these statutes and say, 'This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.'  For what great nation is there that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us whenever we call upon him?  Deuteronomy 4:6-7
Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.  Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.  James 1:22,27
He summoned the crowd again and said to them, "Hear me, all of you, and understand.  Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.  Mark 7:14-15


Piety is how we follow the Lord with our hearts.  The Word comes out from God like the rain and the snow and it accomplishes its purpose on our lives, by bringing us back to God from whom the Word comes.  The Word made flesh is the perfect expression of the mystery of God’s love expressed in the life and the death of Jesus.  Jesus is the perfect act of love by God of us in his willingness to be one of us.  Piety is our willingness to be one with God in Christ.   The Word takes on himself our humanity and Jesus brings our humanity back to God as he makes us brothers and sisters of himself by loving us even unto his death on the Cross.  Our piety is how we honor God who loved us so much he was willing to be one of us so that we could be one with God.


Our study of Jesus allows us to draw close to God.  Jesus is the perfect expression of what is noble and true about humanity.  Jesus brings us into relationship with his Father by being the perfect reflection of the love of God in human form.  Man will never be able to comprehend more of the mystery of God than it understands about Christ who is the Word made flesh.  We do not simply study the life of Christ.  We try to live his life in our day and age by putting into practice the love of Christ.  He has loved us even as the Father has loved him.  He asks of us that we would love one another as he has loved us.  The call of our study of the words of Christ inspires us to honor Christ with our lives even as he has given his life for us.  He tells us that there is no greater love that to give one’s life for another.  Human precepts cannot take the place of the divine precept to love one another.  Discernment is the discovery of how best to love even as Christ loved in his time by doing the same  in our  time and age. 


We honor Christ with more than our lips when we give out our time and our energy for the needs of our brothers and sisters in our actions.  Actions speak louder than words..  Christ takes what we do for the least one of our companions as what we do for him.  We honor Christ by the preferential option for the poor which gives us direct contact with the Christ of the Final Judgment.   In Mt.  25, 40 Christ tells us what we do for the least ones of our brothers or sisters he accepts as done for himself.  We put our hearts into human relationships when we treat our brothers and sisters as our real selves.  The Examen of our consciousness of what Christ is doing in our actions reveals how we belong to the Lord.  The Morning Offering gives God our lives.  Our evening reflection on our day allows us to appreciate how well God uses us for his work if we give him the chance.  Our study opens us up to the working of God and our actions become his by our turning our hearts over to his work in us.  Our prayer of abandonment becomes our prayer of greater freedom to love even as God would love by being the heart beat of our lives. 

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