for Sunday, October 2, 2011
These are very strong readings today. All of us can feel the pressure that
is put on each one of us to be faithful to God and to God's commandments.
As we have lived our faith, surely we come to know that God our Father
constantly is trying to lure us to a new and a better way of living. God
our Father is inviting us to share His own life and to love all others
because we know that we are loved by Him, God the Father.
Isaiah is pretty blunt in today's first reading, insisting that the
chosen people have not responded to God's love and Covenant. This should
invite each of us to look into our souls and ask how strongly we live this
covenant that is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord. So many of us will have to
admit that we are attracted by Kingdom Living but that we often shy away
from any of its difficulties. The more we shy away, the more we shall face
the judgment at the end of our lives.
The second reading, from the Letter to the Philippians, can show us a bit
of how we must life in order to be faithful to the Kingdom: Keep on doing
what you have learned and received and heard and seen. Paul refers to
himself whereas we can recognize in this same image the need to live in the
Church. Just as it was easy for early believers to reject Paul because he
was not perfect, so also we can reject the Church because humanly she is
not perfect. Such rejections, however, end up being a rejection of
ourselves because also are not perfect.
Today's portion of Matthew's Gospel brings us back to the fact that God
the Father loves us so much that He is will to send us His own Son—whom we
have crucified. God loves us passionately and accepts us just as we are.
Conversion is not about our struggles to change ourselves—no matter how
important they may be. Rather it is about surrendering to God and accept
His love and forgiveness in our lives.
Far too often we Christians have ended up trying to make ourselves
good—and then running away when we realize what a hopeless task that is!
Instead, the good news is that Jesus constantly tells us about the
Father's love for us, the Father's forgiveness of our sins and the
invitation of the Father for us to share His life.
In our Christian Scriptures, it is clear that those who really accepted
Jesus as their Lord were the people who had no hope in their lives. With
some exceptions, it was not the wealthy or the powerful who became fervent
followers of Jesus, but those who had nothing to recommend them to others.
Let us recognize our own poverty today and come to trust only in the Lord
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: