Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO
31st Tuesday in Ordinary Time
Romans 12: 5-16; Luke 14: 15-24
As servants of the One True King, our love should be sincere, free from deceit, and free from hollow sentiment. This is especially required when we are confronted with people intent on being nice and politically correct. This obsession being nice and inoffensively renders our words insincere, deceitful and devoid of meaning. Eventually, the living and life-giving Word becomes a dead letter. Faith becomes meaningless when the Word is not alive and active.
The gospel challenges us not only to speak the truth but to live it in love. “Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy” (Warren W. Wiersbe). Because He chose not to equivocate, Jesus lived a dangerous life. He knew that He was the Beloved Son of the Father and He committed Himself to doing only that which the Father told Him to do. He was not afraid of rejection. In His passion and death we have been healed. Like the one true King, let us pour ourselves out in the service of the Gospel and thereby bring those who wander in darkness and gloom to the fullness of life. As servants of the Kingdom, we offer the world an invitation to the banquet of the Lamb, who loved us first and saved us at the cost of His blood.
If we desire to be conformed to the person of Christ we must allow His grace and Truth to take possession of our souls and transform our hearts. We cannot expect to attain the crown is we do not strive to repent of our sins and believe the Gospel of the Kingdom. We must seek the kingdom of the Father in spirit and in Truth. Saint Paul often used athletic imagery when speaking of his striving for to grasp his heavenly prize. To live in the arena of the monastery, we must run the race according to the Truth, leaving no room for duplicity. Entering the arena of the monastery bears with it a stark reality. Stripped of all deceit, the monk stands naked before the gaze of the Beloved Son. Obeying the Word, we strive to take hold of the prize for which Christ has taken hold of us (Cf. Phil 3:12).
I will allow Blessed Paul VI to end this reflection: “We can imagine, then, that each of our sins, our attempts to turn our back on God, kindles in him a more intense flame of love, a desire to bring us back to himself and to his saving plan… God, in Christ, shows himself to be infinitely good… God is good. Not only in himself; God is – let us say it with tears – good for us. He loves us, he seeks us out, he thinks of us, he knows us, he touches our hearts us and he waits for us. He will be – so to say – delighted on the day when we return and say: ‘Lord, in your goodness, forgive me. Thus our repentance becomes God’s joy”.