21st Wednesday in Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Augustine
1 Thessalonians Matthew 23: 27-32
“Walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into his Kingdom and glory.” Saint Paul pleads with us to be faithful to our calling as Christians and the Church pleads with us to be faithful to our monastic way of life. It is our great privilege that God has called us to be heirs of His Kingdom and sacraments of His glory to all we meet. As children of God, we are to live in such a way that God may be glorified. The Rule of Saint Benedict, Chapter 7 has these two interesting comments: “Let [the monk] recall that he is always seen by God in heaven, that his actions everywhere are in God’s sight and are reported by angels at every hour… if every day the angels assigned to us report our deeds to the Lord day and night, then brothers, we must be vigilant every hour” (RB 7, 12 and 28-29). We need to examine our actions and assess what effect they have on the peace of the household of God. It is important that we keep the fear of God before our eyes by doing so we will learn to love others in Christ and to serve Christ in joy.
Those who observe the commandments fulfill God’s will on earth as it is in heaven. To observe Christ’s commands is to world making earth resemble heaven itself. The creator of the universe, through the mystery of the Incarnation, united human nature to the godhead for all eternity. Nothing can hide us from the love and care of God. All that we do and all that we are is exposed to the Light of Truth. Nothing can take us from the hand of God. Walking hand-in-hand with God, we learn to value our brothers and sisters in the Family of God. It is good to keep in mind that God judges the motives of our hearts. We really are that which we are inwardly. Outward appearances may keep the outside clean, however, the intentions of the heart make the inside filthy. If the heart and spirit are to be made new, there must be newness of life; here we must begin with ourselves.
The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees was like the ornaments of a grave or dressing up a dead body, only for show. The deceitfulness of sinners hearts appears in that they go down the streams of the sins of their own day, while they fancy that they should have opposed the sins of former days. We sometimes think, if we had lived when Christ was upon earth, that we should not have despised and rejected him, as men then did; yet Christ in his Spirit, in his word, in his ministers, is still no better treated. And it is just with God to give those up to their hearts lusts, who obstinately persist in gratifying them. Christ gives men their true characters. When Christ, the timeless one enters into time, he makes all things new. It is to the Father through the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit that we receive the peace that surpasses all understanding. “Spend your days thinking about things that are good and true and beautiful and noble, and you will become good, and true and beautiful and noble” (Matthew Kelly, Resisting Happiness).