Tuesday, October 25, 2016

See All, Focus On One

 See All, Focus On One
Thirtieth Week of Year II     Wednesday    October 26, 2016

The Responsorial Psalm calls us to see all of reality in the light of God’s words: “The Lord is faithful in all his words” (Psalm 145). 

In Ephesians 6: 1-9 Paul teaches us to broaden our perspective on everything. We need to be aware, not only of what is immediate and obvious, but of the dimensions God reveals.
Children should obey, not just for the obvious reasons, but with faith in the promise God attached to honoring parents: “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, so that your days may be long and that it may go well with you.”1 This makes every act of obedience an act of faith and hope, and an interaction with God!
Christian fathers and mothers govern their children, not as absolute rulers, but as stewards of God, for whom they are raising their children to be, not just good human beings, but divine children of God.

Paul doesn’t justify slavery, but he teaches those oppressed by it to choose the inner freedom of serving God over the embittered endurance of human domination. This applies to all who are “slaves to their job.” Christians work only for God and fear only God. We do what others or financial factors impose on us only if we judge peacefully it is God’s will under the circumstances. We are radically free because we have no fear of poverty or of death itself! If we are stewards of the kingship of Christ who “strive first for the kingdom of God,” we know that “all these things” people worry about “will be given to us as well.” Why? Because “The Lord is faithful in all his words.2

In Luke 13: 22-30 Jesus doesn’t answer the question about how many or how few are “saved.” He just says it is not smart to feel secure because we are living our religion the way everybody else does. He says, “Try to enter through the narrow door,” which paradoxically is the way to enter into the fullness of life both now and forever.

“Narrow” doesn’t mean “hemmed in” by restricting boundaries. The narrowest course on earth is a straight line. The “narrow way” is to forget about the channel-markers of broader or more restrictive laws and steer with our eyes fixed on the “guiding star,” which is Jesus himself. Christians try to live always as faithful stewards, responding to God as a person: acting by faith in him speaking, hope in him promising, love for him offering himself to us. The criterion for judgment is knowing Jesus with heart as well as mind and being known. To mere religious conformists Jesus says, “I do not know where you come from.” Those whose religion is just law-observance will be “last” at the wedding banquet — on earth as well as in heaven.

1Deuteronomy 5:16. 2Matthew 6:19-33; Luke 9:22-27; 12:4, 22-31.

Initiative: Be Christ’s steward. Live only for him and his work.

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