Sunday, October 06, 2013

Bear Your Share

Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time 2013 C

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily.  For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late.  The rash one has no integrity; but the just one, because of his faith, shall live.  Habakkuk 2:2-4

I remind you, to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands.  For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.  2 Timothy 1:6-7

“When you have done all you have been commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'"  Luke 17:10B

Piety is a reflection of our faith.  The apostles pray that it may be increased.  How special our faith is to us is seen in the way we relate to Christ.  Christ is the light of our faith.  Francis, our Pope, is a light post of our faith in the way he reflects his companionship with Christ to our world.  The people of the world respond to his genuineness.  You cannot read his interview in America without amazement and joy because he reflects Christ so well in how he shares his companionship with Christ in his words and actions.  He gives us a new meaning for liberal and conservative.  Labels do not fit him.  He helps us see how a liberal or a conservative is but the pole of the reflection of Christ in our world.  As one reads the words of Francis about his spiritual journey, you recognize a powerful light of Christ shining out in what he says.  His faith at the time he was provincial of the Jesuits might have been the size of a mustard seed.  But his interview reveals a faith the size of a great tree with plenty of branches for us to rest on.  He comes into our lives as a giant among the giants that have been popes before him.  He serves us as if we were looking at Christ.

The successor of Peter is meant to speak to us as if it were Peter speaking in his memories of how Christ did things.  As a Jesuit, I am meant to be obedient to the pope as if I were listening to Christ.  Being the leader of the largest Religion in the world makes a pope significant in his opinions and statements of his faith.  Francis speaks by the example of a life that gives us insight into what Christ would be like if it was he today.  You read his words and realize that your heart is listening as well it should for who he is as Pope.  He makes it easy to agree with what he is saying.  He speaks to us with the added authority that his example shows us. 


Action speaks louder than words.  The most watched pope of my 80 years of life is worth imitating as best we can.  He lives poorly and speaks from his heart.  He gives us by the transparency of his life what we need to do to be like Christ.  Spirituality is putting on the mind and the heart of Christ.  Francis gives us a good start on where we are going in our Christ life.  Like Paul, we need to be able to say; “now I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” We have to die to our worldly ways that we may come alive to the way of Christ.  

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