Saturday, June 15, 2013

But for Him

But for Him

Saturday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Brothers and sisters: The love of Christ impels us, once we have come to the conviction that one died for all; therefore, all have died.  He indeed died for all, so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.  2 Corinthians 5:14-15
Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, “Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow.”  But I say to you, do not swear at all; not by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.  Matthew 5:33-35


“A Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?


These days having the constant reminder from scripture that we no longer live for ourselves is – well an important constant reminder.  Furloughs may have many worrying about lost income.  The wild swings of the stock market undermine for many the possibility of savings and those who do wonder if they will ever be able to securely retire. The prices of a college education have now soared past $50,000 (!!!) in many institutions putting part of the American Dream out of reach for many.  Those who come out of school face high debt, unemployment and the prospect of only getting unpaid internships. I could go on.  However, today's scripture says, “Don’t worry.  Be Happy if you have the Love of the Lord.”
Those dreams deferred can explode with great possibilities of love when they are reignited with the love of the Lord.
Once our lives are reconciled to Christ, we are his emissaries, his ambassadors to the greater world.  Like Peter, that may mean we are lead to places we do not want to go.  But when we get there, our job is His job.
This week, we had the Memorial for St. Anthony of Padua, one of the doctors of the Church and counted among the most loved of all the saints.  He is the patron of lost causes.  In these days when fear, blame and uncertainty dominate our lives, maybe our dreams seem like a lost cause.  Rather than praying to St. Anthony to help find your missing wallet or car keys, pray to help him recover your dreams deferred.


Sometimes you can work you whole life planning and then when the time is ripe, the foundation that you have set cracks.  A spouse can die leaving you alone. After years of planning to be together, what do you make of life alone?  Several retirees I know have dedicated themselves to lives of service and voluntarism.  Some have even found new companions on the journey.  These folks are people who no longer live for themselves but for Christ and for others.  Sometimes, despite living with loss, they seem to live like they are getting back seven times seventy more than that loss.
What portfolio are you holding as an ambassador to Christ in this life?  

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