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

May 12, 2016

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO [1]

7th Thursday of Easter
Acts 22:30, 23: 6-11; John 17: 20-26

The People of God were united in their profession of faith: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one” (Deut. 6:4). Believers were to attend to these words with the ears of their hearts and ponder them whether they were at work or at rest. The more they would ponder these words, to more they would be united in faith and love, thus truly anchored in their identity as the People God had called to be His own. The strength to be human rests in a faith rooted in the Incarnation. God so loved the world that He became a human being, binding the human race to Himself for all eternity. Because God has loved us, we have an anchor for our souls. As the author of the Letter to the Hebrews says: “This steadfast hope leads us into God’s inner sanctuary” (Heb. 6:19).

This hope is meant to serve as a bond of unity, and not to be a cause of division. This hope flows from God’s eternal purpose and draws us into the communion of love that is the Trinity. Greater is He who draws us together than the theological-philosophical arguments that tend to drive us apart. I find myself reverting back to comments made by Pope Francis at the end of the 2014 Synod. “[There is] a temptation to hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word, (the letter) and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises, (the spirit); within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve. From the time of Christ, it is the temptation of the zealous, of the scrupulous, of the solicitous and of the so-called – today – “traditionalists” and also of the intellectuals. [Likewise] the temptation to a destructive tendency to goodness, that in the name of a deceptive mercy binds the wounds without first curing them and treating them; that treats the symptoms and not the causes and the roots. It is the temptation of the “do-gooders,” of the fearful, and also of the so-called “progressives and liberals.”

The promises of God can be depended on. Our fidelity to the Truth is not served when we turn a deaf ear to those we do not understand. It is impossible to love God when we hate the brother with whom we do not agree. As God cannot be love one minute and hate the next, we too must find the path to purity of heart and unity of spirit. While it may seem that we are in this world like a ship at sea, tossed up and down. We need an anchor to keep us sure and steady. May we cling to the anchor of our soul as we seek to know the Truth. And may we live the Truth in compassion and love.