Living in a Manner Worthy of our Calling and the Signs of the Times, 29th Friday (II), October 21, 2016

Fr. Roger J. Landry
Sacred Heart Convent of the Sisters of Life, Manhattan
Friday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time, Year II
Votive Mass of the Mercy of God
October 21, 2016
Eph 4:1-6, Ps 24, Lk 12:54-59

 

To listen to an audio recording of today’s homily, please click below: 

 

The following points were attempted in the homily: 

  • Today we shift gears in our biennial two-week course into St. Paul’s deepest Epistle. Since a week ago Thursday, St. Paul has been sketching out in the first three chapters of the Letter the theology of Christ’s whole mission, which can be summarized as his work to “sum up,” to reconcile “all things in himself, in the heavens and on earth.” In the last three chapters of his missive, he begins to draw moral consequences for how we’re supposed to participate in that reconciliation between us and God and in God with each other. God’s ultimate plan in Christ is to form us as a family, as a true communion of saints, and in today’s passage, St. Paul pushes on that accelerator.
  • He urges us to “live in a manner worthy of the call [we] have received,” the call to be — as he said last week — “holy and immaculate in [God’s] sight” and describes the virtues we need to respond to his call for reconciliation: first, humility, because pride always separates us from God and from others; second, meekness, so that we will have the self-discipline to control our anger; and third, patience (makrothumia) so that we can “bear with one another through love.” These are the means by which we can “preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Then St. Paul sketches what I might call the theological grounds of our unity: that in him we have been made “one Body,” that we have become temples of the “one Spirit,” that we all have the “one hope of our call” to eternal communion with God and others, that we are all disciples of the “one Lord,” that we each have the “one faith” or trust in God and his promises, that we have the “one baptism” that has made us spiritual siblings, that we all recognize our divine filiation of the “one God and Father of all,” who is over all (omnipotent), through all (provident) and in all (omnipresent). God who calls us to live in a manner worthy of our calling to be in a loving communion with him and others will give us all of the means and these are the means! And these means are not merely individual; as we prayed in the Psalm, we are a “people that longs to see [God’s] face.”
  • In today’s Gospel, Jesus talks about the signs of the times. Just as we are able to interpret meteorological indicators and change our behavior, so he wants us to perceive the signs of his kingdom and make similar adjustments to live in accordance with his calling to that kingdom, a kingdom of unity, holiness, charity and peace. He gives the analogy of making peace with adversaries before the judge sentences us to prison so that as we’re walking through life toward our judgment, we may reconcile now, that we may love now in deeds whether others are in need. This is a mystery hidden to the wise and the clever of the world, as we prayed in the Alleluia versicle but revealed to the childlike, who forgive easily. Pope Francis has been saying that the sign of our time is mercy, that we’re living in a kairos of mercy, and that each of us, having received the mercy that has reconciled us to God needs to share it with others so that we may be reconciled to them. The pilgrimage of life is meant to be a time of mercy and we need to reconcile with others and God along the way.
  • During the Last Supper, Jesus prayed to his Father that our relationships with each other will be as united as the bond between the Father and the Son. To live in a manner worthy of our calling means to seek to live in this type of loving communion. And to strengthen us Jesus gives us himself so that we might be united to each through, with and in Him, and he sends the Holy Spirit to make us “one Body, one Spirit in Christ.” Let us “strive to preserve the unity” that he gives us here — and grow it!

 

The readings for today’s Mass were: 

Reading 1 EPH 4:1-6

Brothers and sisters:
I, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the spirit
through the bond of peace;
one Body and one Spirit,
as you were also called to the one hope of your call;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.

Responsorial Psalm PS 24:1-2, 3-4AB, 5-6

R. (see 6) Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Alleluia SEE MT 11:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 12:54-59

Jesus said to the crowds,
“When you see a cloud rising in the west
you say immediately that it is going to rain–and so it does;
and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south
you say that it is going to be hot–and so it is.
You hypocrites!
You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky;
why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

“Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?
If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate,
make an effort to settle the matter on the way;
otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge,
and the judge hand you over to the constable,
and the constable throw you into prison.
I say to you, you will not be released
until you have paid the last penny.”

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