Saturday, August 30, 2014

Like a Fire Burning

Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time A

By Fr. Joe McCloskey, SJ

I say to myself, I will not mention him, I will speak in his name no more.  But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it.  Jeremiah 20:9

Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.  Romans 12:2

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  Matthew 16:24-25

Our piety is one of the ways we say who Christ is in our lives. We say Christ is our life by the goodness of our lives. There are pious moments when we show our love by our reverence, attention and devotion. These moments flow over to the ways we do the secular things in our lives. The totality of the focus of our hearts is the best of our piety because thus we are treating the people of our lives as reflections of the God who merits all our attention. Our love of God challenges us to find Christ in the last, the lowest and the least persons of our lives. God created everything good. The right use of creatures proclaims Christ in whom we are. We by our use of creatures with care and attention to what is right make Christ visible by who we are. Our destiny is Christ and all the ways our piety keeps Christ close to us are the works of salvation and the good news that Christ has come to share with us.  Piety in each other is the good news of salvation calling forth the best of us.

By our study we realize that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Each moment of our lives is filled with God’s love for us manifest in creation and in the reality of the ongoing of our lives. We would not live if God did not keep us in existence. The victory of Christ centers the throne of Christ. The cross is his victory. On the wood of the cross we were given our salvation. In the embrace of Christ from his cross all that would separate us from the victory of Christ loses its meaning. Nothing is worth more than his embrace of our sinfulness as he gives us his life for forgiveness and rebirths us in the love of his Father. God is not only in our world; he is also the meaning of our lives and gives meaning to all that we do when we live in his name and spread the good news of salvation. For many the road of God’s wisdom seems impassable. To us who are called, the cross is the exquisite wisdom of God revealing his love for us. It is the road to the resurrection.

The best action of our lives will be the climbing of the cross of Christ to look at our world through his eyes. The value of what we suffer is immeasurable in the likeness to Christ it brings. Our suffering can be the key to unlock the mystery of God’s love when we offer our suffering in the name of Christ. We need to become the presence of Christ for those we serve. We need to meet the needs of others with the love of Christ who gives his all for each of us. We need to be like to Christ who offers his sufferings for us. The Cross is the wisdom of Christ. We must do our best to make our world more just and special by living the love of Christ for each other no matter what it costs us. Our sufferings offered in the name of Christ can make the world amazed at how the Christians love one another. Let us bring our world back to Christ. Then nothing will be able to separate us from the love of Christ. We will be his love.

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