Sunday, September 12, 2021
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our Sunday readings increase in dramatic tone. The passage from Isaiah describes a Savior bent on his mission despite mounting resistance and expressed hatred.
The Lord GOD opens my ear that I may hear;Isaiah 50:5-6
and I have not rebelled,
have not turned back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
my face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.
Psalm 116 paints a person set upon by suffering and death threats, still trusting in the Lord’s saving grace.
The cords of death encompassed me;Psalm 116: 3-4
the snares of the netherworld seized upon me;
I fell into distress and sorrow,
And I called upon the name of the LORD,
“O LORD, save my life!”
In the Epistle, James says we must demonstrate our faith by our works — by putting our money where our mouth is.
What good is it, my brothers and sisters,James 2:14
if someone says he has faith but does not have works?
And in our Gospel, Jesus says we demonstrate our faith by following him, renouncing ourselves and taking up our cross.
This is heavy stuff. Jesus wants us to be like him — and it would be so much easier not to be! It would be so much easier to think that our life is all about ourselves, and that we have no responsibility for Beloved Creation.
It would be so much easier not to give our lives to Christ to allow Him to bless the world through our love.
But if we wish to “save” our lives like this, we will — in the end — lose them for eternity.
Let us pray today for the grace to take our life and lay it down over the Cross of Christ.
In that laying down, to conform ourselves to the pattern of his love, to place the weight of our burdens and hopes on the crossbeam of his strength.
Let us ask for the strength to live
- for God
- for others
- for good in the world
- and never for self when it injures or lessens others or our Sacred Home.
This is the way we will keep our lives in Christ.
Music: Renouncement – Michael Hoppé