Thursday, August 01, 2013

Exactly as the Lord Commanded

Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguouri, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Moses did exactly as the LORD had commanded him.  Exodus 40:16

“The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind.  When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets.  What is bad they throw away.”  Matthew 13:47-48


Father, all your good gifts surround us.  Yet, rather than using these for the sake of others, we use them for our own comfort.  Jesus, lead us out of our comfort zone and into your discomfort zone of the Cross.  Holy Spirit, give us your gifts so that we might do exactly as the Lord commands. Amen.


Outside of Jesus, can anyone since Moses claim to do exactly as the Lord had commanded?  We all fall away sometimes.  But do we return?  If we know that heaven is the final winnowing, will we change enough to be there in the dwelling place of the Lord the end?
As the psalmist reminds us, even the sparrow and the swallow – the smallest of birds -- find a nest for their young.  Are we “renewing” ourselves to sleep on the threshold of the Lord rather than in the “tents of the wicked.” 
We seek not to be popular.  Rather we seek to be authentic followers of Christ.  Sometimes, this might result in popularity.  However, that is not how we will be judged in the end.  The scale will be if we are in the right kind of relationship with the Lord and our fellow human beings.  Such a relationship is focused outside ourselves. 
Witness Moses.  He was NOT concerned with building a comfortable house for himself.  Rather, his focus was on making a proper dwelling place for the Lord and leading others to the Promised Land.   


Today is a new month.  Happy August.  Is there one action you can take this month to take you out of your comfort zone?  These summer months are the long stretch between the holy seasons of Advent and Lent when we focus on alms-giving and sacrifice.  However, that does not mean we can not make August our Little Advent.
Maybe you can drive less and use the money you save on car expenses (gas, parking, insurance, etc.) to help others.  Maybe you can give up one restaurant meal per week to result in some savings.
Maybe now is the time to add a little exercise time and resist renting another movie from Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu. 

Each little step will give you something that you can use to add to building a little more of the Kingdom every day. 

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