Saturday, June 28, 2014

Follow Me

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles 2014
Mass during the Day

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shone in the cell.  He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying, “Get up quickly.”  The chains fell from his wrists.  The angel said to him, “Put on your belt and your sandals.”  He did so.  Then he said to him, “Put on your cloak and follow me.”  Acts 12:7-8

The Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it.  And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.  The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom.  2 Timothy 4:7-8

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.  I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.  Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  Matthew 16:18-19

Piety is how we say who the Lord is.  We have given 3,000 answers to this question.  Peter, in our Gospel, spells it out for us loud and clear.  Piety is our statement with our lives that Jesus is the Son of the Living God even as he is one of us.  We say with our lives that Jesus is our real self.  We would claim with Paul that Jesus lives within us.  We would pour out our lives as living libations thus announcing Jesus to our world as our Savior and our brother.  He is the real connection in whom we are meant to be. We are created to the image and likeness of God in Jesus.  When we find ourselves in Jesus we find our real selves.  He leads us out of the prison of our selfishness to the freedom of selflessness.   He teaches us how to be free to be ourselves in him who is our Way, our Truth; and our Life.

Our study begins an answer to the three questions of the spiritual journey.  What I was doing for Christ is Piety. Piety is the history of our companionship with Christ.  Study itself is the now of our relationship to Christ.  How am I seeing him in the people, places and actions of what I am now doing?  The Last of the questions is the doing.  What more will I do for Christ is what Action is all about.  Love is proved by deeds.

There needs to be a lot of Peter and Paul in all of us.  We need to push the limits we put on ourselves in what we can do for Christ.  Our greatest actions will be our offerings back to God of our liberty.  We offer our lives to Christ by our Spirituality.  What makes us a companion to Christ is our living in his love.  He has loved us as the Father has loved him.  We are challenged to live his love for us for each other.  The “no greater love” is the giving our lives for each other.  The greatest joy of spirituality is found in the offering of our lives to make up what wants to the sufferings of Christ’s Body, the Church.  Spirituality is the best of all our actions of life because it gives the Christ meaning of our lives. 

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