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

September 12, 2017

Fr. John Eudes Bamberger, OCSO [1]

23 Tuesday in Ordinary Time
Saint Peter of Tarantaise
Colossians 2:6-15; Luke 6:12-19

PETER OF TARANTAISE in whose honor we offer this mass today, is not even mentioned in the Roman missal, but our Cistercian Order keeps his memory  alive with a yearly commemoration. His holy way of life was sufficiently remarkable that his name became known in Rome and he was made a bishop  The marked change in his functions in  that role did not dim9inish his dedication to a life dedicated to seeking union with  God. His memory is preserved faithfully in our Cistercian Order through the years.  Since he is not included in the Roman missal,, Our monasteries are the only Churches that celebrate his memory and holy life.

The first reading today is an impressive text from Saint Paul’s Letter to the Colossians  for it includes one of the strongest assertions  in the New Testament concerning the full divinity of Jesus. One has the impression that as he writes to these recently converted Christians,  Paul recalls to himself his own first encounter with the Lord.  “For in him”, he writes, “dwells the whole fullness of the deity bodily.”  Not satisfied with this striking claim, Paul go on to state that “you share in this fullness in him who is the head of every Principality and Power.” As he expresses in further encouraging references to the effects of the baptism his readers have received the apostle Paul reinforces his teaching by affirming that the same Christ Jesus has removed all claims against us “by the blood of his cross.”  It is not surprising to learn later as Paul too final leave of the Ephesians that they were distressed  to  learn they would not see him again, for he was  on his way to meet the dangers  awaiting him in Jerusalem.

Saint Luke in the Gospel passage we just heard tells us that prior to choosing his apostles Jesus “departed to the mountain to pray and he spent the night in prayer to God.”  If Luke points out our Lord’s dedication to Prayer to the Father he intends to show his readers that we are to commit our life with its various decisions to the  mercy and favor of our Heavenly Father. May each of us here today take this example to heart and be guided by it in our own life’s choices.