29th Friday in Ordinary Time
In today’s first reading, the apostle to the gentiles exhorts us to walk in a way that becomes those called to be followers of Christ. While we live on earth, “our citizenship is in heaven and it is from there that we await our savior, Christ the Lord” (Phil 3:20). Because we were created in the image of God, we must never forget our homeland nor the values we were taught. We are to live those values and declare the truths that have been written on the tablets of our hearts. The duty of a Christian is to live in the world in such a way as to help the people they encounter identify and verbalize the deep questions of their heart.
Those who have heard the call of Christ, have been fed the Word of Life. This is the Word that the world longs to hear, even though is doesn’t know it. Having had a glimpse of the prize, let us keep our eyes fixed on it. Knowing that heaven and earth will pass away, let us stretch ourselves towards that which draws us forward, striving to make our own that for which Christ made us His own (CF. Phil 3:12). Never looking back at what was left behind, let us seek to become more and more like Christ. As we become more and more conformed to Christ, the Father will see and love in us what He sees and loves in His only-begotten Son.
It is in God that we live and move and have our being, and He calls us to proclaim his message of freedom and life to the world. Eternal life is a gift of God that comes to us through Christ. Christ is the love of God made tangible. In obedience to the Father’s will He seeks out the lost and draws them close to His heart. He freely laid down His life for love of us so that we might live for love of Him. He poured himself out for us that we might pour ourselves out for others. Having left all for the love of Christ, we claim the first fruits of the world to come, because where our hearts are, there our treasure will also be (CF Mat 6:21).
This is the real issue at hand. Are we willing to live as if we were prized by God, to walk as becomes the children of the kingdom? The Apostle John put it this way: “Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” (1Jn. 3:18). In the self-emptying of Christ we find the mystery of divine love. We who have been saved by Christ’s self-sacrificing love must sacrifice ourselves for those most in need of God’s mercy.
We have been purchased at a great price, the most precious blood of Christ. We are not our own. God made us and through the Son redeemed us, therefore, we belong to Him. We have only to recall the words of St. Augustine: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” It is Christ who calls us to come to Him. All who respond to the call of the Son will find rest for their souls, because He will draw them nearer to the Heart of God. Having come to know loves embrace, we will love the world into wholeness.