- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

August 16, 2016

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO [1]

20th Tuesday in Ordinary Time
Ezekiel 28: 1-10; Matthew 19: 23-30

You may recall the words spoken by the Prophet Micah that echo the sentiments of today’s reading from Ezekiel: “He has shown you, O man, what is good, and what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Mic. 6:8). These words are hard to take, living in as society that stresses self-realization and self-assertion. Only if we acknowledge ourselves as sinners in need of God’s mercy can we begin to live a life of mercy and humility in the presence of the Holy One who created us. When we are reduced to our littleness can we find the freedom we need to think, to pray and to meditate. When I acknowledge that of myself, I am nothing, then I can allow God to be everything.

It is so tempting to identify ourselves with what we have accomplished and to forget that there is nothing we have that we have not received from the hand of God. I wonder if Saint Paul had today’s passage from the prophet in mind when wrote the church in Corinth: “What makes you makes you superior to anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though it were not a gift?” (1 Cor. 4:7) My brothers and sister, we are not self-made! God made us and empowered us to work for His greater glory. We have no reason to be cocky and self-sufficient. All we have. All we do that is good, has been made possible by the grace of God working in us. God who is the same yesterday, today and forever will provide for our needs and merely asks us to depend on Him and not on ourselves. All we need to do is reach out our empty hands and find the breadth of life.

Jesus promised the apostles that when He returns at the end of time, He will make all things new. Only those who are willing to forsake the old things will find entrance into the New and Heavenly Jerusalem. May God give us faith to rest our hope on His promise. Embracing the Master who emptied himself of all glory to redeem us, may we be ready to become poor with the poor Christ.  Hearing the voice of the Father may we be ready for every service and sacrifice. He will guide us as we journey home and shine His light on our path. Blessed be God who is ready to give everlasting life to the humble of heart.