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

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO

Wednesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Ezekiel 9:1-7; 10:18-22, Matthew 18:15-20

The reading from the prophet Ezekiel reminded me of a passage taken from the Book of Revelation. “Here I am. I stand at the door and knock. If Anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and share a meal with him as friends” (Rev. 3:20).  God desires to share communion with his people. If they accept his invitation, he will stay with them. If not, he will depart and leave them to their own devices. God knows the hunger of the human heart. He also knows that he Alone can satisfy that hunger. We are reminded of this fact by Saint Augustine. “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds rest in thee” (Confessions).

It is a great comfort to all of us that when our lives seem totally out of control, we have a mediator who pleads our cause. The one who stands at the door and waits to be admitted knows the longings of the human heart. Because he has joined our human nature to his dive, he pleads for us before the Father. “I have prayed for you, that your faith does not fail you. Once you have come back to your true self, help those in need” (Lk. 22:32). The loving heart of God calls out to the heart of his wandering child. Saint Luke recounts the conversion of the prodigal son. “When he came to himself, he said… I will arise and go to my father” (Lk. 15:17, 18).

God so loved the world that he sent his only-begotten Son into the world to reconcile the world to himself. The Wisdom of God “has prepared a great banquet, mixed the wine, and set the table” (Pro. 9:2). He stands at the door and knocks. He calls to us in our hunger. “Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good and your soul will delight in the richest of foods” (Is. 55:2). We have these words of assurance uttered by our Lord Jesus Christ: “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty… Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.  For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them” (Jn. 6: 35, 54-56).

“In the love-story recounted by the Bible, he comes towards us, he seeks to win our hearts, all the way to the Last Supper, to the piercing of his heart on the Cross, to his appearances after the Resurrection and to the great deeds by which, through the activity of the Apostles, he guided the nascent Church along its path. Nor has the Lord been absent from subsequent Church history: he encounters us ever anew, in the men and women who reflect his presence, in his word, in the sacraments, and especially in the Eucharist” (Deus Caritas Est #17). My brothers, today the Lord is standing at the door of our hearts. Let us bid him welcome.