30th Thursday of Ordinary Time
Ephesians 6:1-10; Luke 11:31-35
Any passage of Saint Paul’s Epistles contains thoughts that remain stimulating for those who seek to know God and His ways for us. Today’s first reading from the Epistle to the Ephesians is an obvious instance,, for he launches immediately into the thick of life as he urges his readers to enter into the spiritual combat. ”Draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power.” As we reflect on these words of exhortation we soon realize they are a program for the whole of life. We know by sad experience how weak we are, how subject to disordered thoughts and desires as well as sudden impulses. We stand in constant need of God’s strengthening grace and mercy. To develop this point further Saint Paul stresses the fact- all too readily forgotten- that our struggles are with the demons. We do not experience the temptations we encounter as demonic, yet in this passage Paul does not make any exceptions, but goes on to affirm explicitly “our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with principalities and powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness.”
The fact that so many of the prominent leaders in our world do not accept this word of truth only indicates how blind so many are to the true meaning of life in this world. One of the most respected, a Nobel-prize winner in science, expressed his world view in these terms: “The more I understand the universe the less meaning it has.” So much for the wisdom of the intellectual rulers of our times. They are heard by many of our contemporaries.
Saint Paul’s advice in the face of such a state in which we live is as pertinent for us today as ever it was: “With all prayer and supplications pray at every opportunity in the Spirit”. Our monastic founders followed this advice and made a way of life that facilitated this program. In the Gospel we just heard Jesus proclaims that, even in face of serious threats, he will follow the path of fidelity to the Father’s plan though he foresees it will lead to his death.
Hearing his words we are aware of how badly we stand in need of the grace he won for us. May our sharing in this Eucharist strengthen each of us here in our resolve to remain united with our Lord wherever he may lead us.