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

November 11, 2015

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO [1]

32nd Wednesday in Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours
Wisdom 6: 1-11; Luke 17: 11-19

The scriptures tell us that the world is a marvel that was handed over to Adam as a sacred trust. The earth out of which the human race was formed was intended to provide sustenance for all the children of Adam and Eve. Walking in the light of God’s loving gaze, we were to know peace, joy and happiness. Having been created in the image and likeness of God, we were to open ourselves to God, following the example of the flowers of the field that open themselves to the rays of the sun. We have only to recall these words of Saint Paul, “For God who said, ‘out of darkness let light shine,’ is He who has shone in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory, which shines from the face of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). Shielded from the Light of Glory, we cannot grow to our full potential. Separated from the mercy of God, we be condemned to live in a land filled with shame and guilt, a land devoid of joy and peace.

Bathed in the light of Glory, we are empowered by God to bring creation to fulfillment. We know that there is more to us than skin and bone. By using our gifts and talents, we journey towards our heavenly homeland. The challenge placed before us is to live in this world with our hearts set on our heavenly homeland. This becomes more challenging when secular society wants to believe that HERE is all that we get. With the Apostle to the gentile, we need to announce: “Our citizenship is in heaven, and we are waiting with longing expectation for the return from heaven of our savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20). It is pleasant to bathe in the warmth of the sun; but it is better to allow the light of the gospel to shine in our heart. As light was the beginning of the first creation; so, in the new creation, the light of the Spirit is his first work upon the soul. The treasure of gospel light and grace is put into earthen vessels that are the handiwork of God.

As disciples of Christ and heirs of the kingdom, contrary to secular thought, we know that there is more to being human than meets the eye. By the power of God’s grace working in us, we can stretch ourselves forward, so as to become more and more like Christ. Whoever has heaven in sight must press forward to it, in holy desires and hopes and constant endeavor. Believers make Christ all in all and set their hearts on their heavenly homeland. Those who have the Lord for their God, have his Spirit for their Guide; they are led by the Spirit. God, in Christ, is our joy. He who emptied Himself of all glory and grandeur fills us with transforming grace, making us a “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession” (1 Pet. 2:9).

Saint Irenaeus said it most beautifully: “The glory of God gives life; those who see God receive life. For this reason God, Who cannot be grasped, comprehended or seen, allows Himself to be seen, comprehended and grasped by men, that He may give life to those who see and receive Him…. Life in man is the glory of God; the life of man is the vision of God. If the revelation of God through creation gives life to all who live upon the earth, much more does the manifestation of the Father through the Word give life to those who see God.”