Thursday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time
Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and evangelist
September 21, 2017
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
Today’s readings call every faithful to come out of the immature nature of human and be a super human in Christ. As we see in the first reading St, Paul calls to live a life in our boundaries of life. The Kingdom of God or the spirit of God is not hidden in the third heaven or somewhere in the Cosmos but it is there right among us. The Word of God says where two or three gathered in my name, I will reveal myself among them. This is a very simple way to invoke the Holy Spirit among us. The Spirit of God is Working everywhere, We may think if we go to Church or read the Word of God, we can experience the Spirit of God, yes we can experience him there but we cannot sit in the Church or read Bible all the time, because God has called us to achieve a ministry on this Earth. It can be to build our own family or Society or institution or a nation and the Spirit of God is present in gifts and fruits in these ministries to empower us and empower others through us.
Among the teachers of the Law and even in our time, there was a thinking that the holiness can be achieved by following the Commandments as an obligation. These commandments were not followed in love which was the ultimate purpose of these commandments but followed them outwardly to show the completion. The fulfilment of Law happens in the act of love or through the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Jesus and St. Paul is calling us in today’s Gospel to be love driven than scripture driven. Scriptures are the ways shown to us to love and serve. If we love the Scriptures we apply them in our life by loving others and God.
There is no love or mercy without sacrifice but the sacrifice of giving we are talking about is not outwardly sacrifice of self-righteousness or spiritual pride but God and neighbour centred Sacrifice of self-emptying for the sake of others and God. When we empty ourselves fully for the families, friends, Neighbours, Society, Workplace, we build the Church of God in that very place.
There are challenges in our own ministries like differences of opinions, lack of Cooperation , disunity , selfishness , hatred ,Sin so on but we are not like them but we are called by the Lord to build the Church on that particular place so we need to seek the gifts of the Holy Spirit which has been poured out on our Baptism and anointed us with gentleness, patience, humility, love, unity, peace and one hope to build the Church of God in our assigned places and make one God the Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all. This is our call as mature Christians of today. This is called fullness of Spirit or Christ, a Complete Man Woman in Christ on this Earth. When we grow in this stature, Christ bestows his grace through the Holy Spirit in the form of gifts of counselling, preaching, healing, administration, management, finances so on to build and extend the Community to the Whole Wide World. St. Benedict practiced this Vow of stability, to live where we are with all the challenges and difficulties and overcome them by the love of God and make that place a better place a place of God than run from one place to the other to avoid challenges and opportunities set before us to make our own house, office, neighbourhood, society, native a better place.
The recent trend among people to run from their native places to a better place. There is no better place on this earth my friend than the place and the Work given to us by the Lord in our own boundaries of life. If we run from these places, there will not be any another better person to change this place in to a better place than you. Thomas Kempis in imitation of Christ says: if we run from one cross , we will meet another Cross on the way which heavier than the before. Also he says: if we carry the Cross in unwillingness , it becomes heavier but if we embrace the Cross in love as our Calling or Vocation , God will resurrect these Crosses in to Heaven itself.