“For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.” (COL 3: 3-4)
Christ is “our life”—we are connected with Him totally, and “our life is hidden with Him in God.” Whenever we put Him in the first place in our lives, when we are concerned about how to make Him more visible through our actions and prayers, we also appear with Him, in a very safe way—in the presence of God, like the poor in spirit
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Now, therefore, reform your ways and your deeds; listen to the voice of the LORD your God, so that the LORD will repent of the evil with which he threatens you.” (JER 26: 13)
We always think of “reforming our ways and our deeds”—do you remember last New Year’s Eve? How often we failed after a few weeks or months? When we make our reform based on “listening to the voice of the Lord our God,” He will take care of us and our reform. Whatever is based on Him and His word can bring fruits, and nothing will stop us.
“Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.”
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” (LK 10: 41-42)
Martha and Mary became a symbol of work-live balance. Martha, “anxious and worried about many things,” and Mary, who “has chosen the better part.” We know how important is work for our families and how important are our relationships. It is not a competition which one is more important, it is about how to keep a balance. It is easier to do it when we start from “the better part.” We will not neglect work, but we will add a proper light (“I am the light of the world”) to understand its role.
“I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.
“Rise up, be off to the potter’s house; there I will give you my message.” (JER 18: 2)
Another translations says—“there you will hear my word.” His word is his message, and there is no place where we can’t receive it. It could be at “the potter’s house” or it could be at John Smith’s house; it could be at my work or in any of our houses–not just in the Church. The only thing to do is—“rise up, be off.” Action and contemplation are needed to “open our hearts, to listen to the words” of the Lord.
“Open our hearts, O Lord, to listen to the words of your Son.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“When I found your words, I devoured them; they became my joy and the happiness of my heart, because I bore your name, O LORD, God of hosts.” (JER 15: 16)
Our Lord always talks to us. The Bible, the Liturgy, books and sermons are common tools He uses to communicate with us. Still this requires some activity from us: looking for His words and when we find His words—devouring them. One word found in our daily readings could bring “joy and the happiness to our hearts” and make our days.
“I call you my friends, says the Lord, for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“We recognize, O LORD, our wickedness, the guilt of our fathers; that we have sinned against you. For your name’s sake spurn us not, disgrace not the throne of your glory; remember your covenant with us, and break it not.” (JER 14: 20-21)
When we come to Our Lord with excuses and blaming others, He comes to us with judgment; when we come to Him as sinners, bringing to Him all our weaknesses, He comes to us His with mercy and salvation. He is always faithful to His “covenant with us” when “we recognize our wickedness, that we have sinned against” Him.
“The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower; all who come to him will live forever.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.” (2 COR 4: 7)
The glory of God is revealed in human and fragile persons—“treasure in earthen vessels.” All the good we are able to do and all the beauty of His beloved children comes from Him—that “the surpassing power may be [recognized as] of God and not from us.” It is not a story about our limits and weaknesses; it is a story about how unbelievable God’s love is and how important we are for the spreading of the Good News and for “bearing fruits”—we, “earthen vessels.”
“I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
“Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” (LK 11: 1)
Prayer is the way that we can be in relationship with God, like dialog is the way that we can be in relationship with our family, especially between spouses. Dialog is not easy—we remember subject no. 5 from our Program 1—so many traps and so many mistaken patterns of interpretation in our inner dialog. It could be the same problem with prayer—a wish list, a list of claims about a badly organized world, or an amazing occasion to close our eyes 😉 and rest a bit. What we can do is to ask Jesus—“teach us to pray”! He will lead us, guide us and help us to be with God in real relationship when we respect each other and do everything to be a sincere gift of selves like children of God.
“You have received a Spirit of adoption, through which we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” (Gospel Acclamation)
“‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, ‘First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.’” (MT 13: 28-30)
One of my favorite scenes from the New Testament speaks about our conditions. We’d love to be perfect, with no weaknesses, always honest, humble, one hundred per cent givers of selves, respecting, gentle, remembering about anniversaries and experts in rituals, fantastic communicators and patient listeners. “Let them grow together until harvest; then I will say to the harvesters, ‘First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.’” The judgment of God alone will eliminate the sins. Until then there must be patient and the preach repentance. God loves us and can see the difference between weeds and wheat in us.
“Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni,’ which means Teacher.” (JN 20: 16)
We are called by name. We are not anonymous believers, members of an organization; we are His children, chosen from our mothers’ wombs; we are known by our names from our beginning. When recognized and called and when in relationship with Him, we can lead others to Him.
“Tell us, Mary, what did you see on the way? I saw the glory of the risen Christ, I saw his empty tomb.” (Gospel Acclamation)