for Sunday, February 13, 2011
On this sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time, we are again invited to change our
lives and to recognize the demands of the Scriptures on our lives.
Christian life is not meant o be comforting so much as transforming for us.
Jesus does not come to us telling us that we are so good that we need to
do nothing. Rather, Jesus tells us to repent for the kingdom of God is at
Immediately we begin to wonder: what is the Kingdom? Do I want the
Kingdom? Why would I want the kingdom? The Book of Sirach tells us that
we have a basic choice in our life: for good or for evil. This choice is
for each of us without exception. Our human situation can be very complex:
some choose the kingdom and yet do not repent. Other choose against the
kingdom but still repent. We are not here to judge one another, but to
respond to the living God.
We are invited to live in God's wisdom, mysterious and hidden, as the
First Letter to the Corinthians tells us. This mysterious and hidden
wisdom can be at work in us without us even knowing it. The more that we
do know it and respond to it, the stronger our faith can become. We might
even recognize that God does everything to draw us into His Kingdom, no
matter how much we resist. On the other hand, we have been given this
incredible gift of freedom, of free choice. Every time that we choose for
what is right and good, it strengthens us on the path of salvation. Every
time that we choose sin and slavery and to be less than we could be, we
weaken ourselves in the way of salvation.
We know that our sexuality is one of those areas that is an incredible
gift of God but can also become an area of choosing only for our pleasure.
Our present culture encourages pleasure and the choices that increase
pleasure without even mentioning that there can be deep and wonderful
meanings in sexuality that have nothing to do with this physical pleasure
but with the use of our whole being for others. And for those who have
received the gift of marriage, sexuality can become an incredibly intimate
bond of deep union that goes far beyond simple physical pleasure.
There are pleasures in eating, as well, and pleasures in power and
authority. There are pleasure in smells and in touch. Our senses bring us
such an incredible richness in our lives. The challenge is always to find
out the deepest meanings of these pleasures and to choose according to the
will of God.
For many of us humans, freedom means the freedom to do what I want. In
the Scriptures, freedom is the freedom to do what God wants. There can be
a vast difference.
Our God invites us to be simple and direct and to choose the Father's will
because that is the only way to life. May our hearts rejoice as we listen
to God's word and learn how to choose that which brings life in Him.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: