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

September 22, 2016

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO

25 Thursday in Ordinary Time

Thursday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time
Ecclesiastes 1: 2-11; Luke 9: 7-9

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the President of the Pontifical Academy for life is quoted as saying a life spent without facing the reality of death is inhuman. “It’s as if we’re losing the human dimension of death, which means we’re losing the human dimension of life.” Many people have lost the anchor of their souls. They longer seeing themselves as being made in the image and likeness of God. As a result, they abort their future, euthanize their past and while chasing after wind, despair of the present. Qoheleth looked back over his life and tells the reader that much of his life had been like an empty cistern, vanity. Realizing that he was then entering into the autumn of his life, he chose to learn from his lived experience: folly and shame, bitterness of disappointment and the thrill of success.

As followers of Christ, it is possible to see that we have not lived in vain. In Christ, we are made a new creation. As heirs of the Kingdom, we can abandon the broken and leaky cisterns of the world and drink deeply from the Fountain of living water. By means of His cross and resurrection, Christ has made all things new. Since the world as we know it is passing away, to pursue the ways of the world (as it is) is vanity. For this reason, we are encouraged to set our gaze on heaven, since as the apostle writes: “Our citizenship is in heaven, and we are waiting with longing expectation for the coming from heaven of a Savior, Christ the Lord” (Phil. 3:20). Abandoning worldly vanity, the person of faith forgets the things that are behind and strains at making the heavenward climb. Not satisfied with the vanity of the world, he clothes himself in the grandeur of heavenly grace, striving to make God his all in all. We are cautioned by the Apostle: “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things, or have reached perfection. However, I keep pursuing it, hoping to possess it just as Christ Jesus has taken possession of me” (Phil. 3:12). We do not despair of the present nor do we run from the past, rather, we press on to claim the prize. There we can be truly human, and truly alive.