FRIDAY: Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The World versus the Kingdom of God
Our God is faithful. His love and his mercy endure forever (Ps.135). God made us the bride of his Son forever (Eph.5:25–27). Sometimes, we are like Hosea’s unfaithful wife, Gomer (Hos.1:1-3). Despite our rampant egregious acts of infidelities (Is.1:18), God is indelibly committed to drawing us back to himself. By means of his word and sacraments he keeps purging, cleansing, and reinstating us in his love (Jn.15:3-8); he loves us as he loves his own body (Eph.5:27-28). His patience never wanes in the interest of the covenant of loves he established with us for our salvation (2Pet.3:8-9).
God is holy. He is perfect. He desires our holiness; he yearns for our perfection (Num.11:44; Matt.5:48; 1Pet.1:16). He wants us to be his speckless bride without wrinkles and glorious in his presence. The distinguishable marks of God’s love and holiness are as follows: compassion, love, patience, and mercy (Ps.86:5; Ps.145:8). Created in his image and refashioned in the image of his Son, God expects us to be his true likeness in every way and exhibit the same virtues in all our human relationships and activities in the world.
However, it is not always so with us. Arrogance and unforgiveness continue to dominate our sense of judgment; our thought patterns and that too determine the consequences of our actions. Conciliation among peers and even between spouses is still problematic – even more so among Christians. Why? Jesus hit the nail dead on the head. We are unteachable. Our unteachableness forces us to compromise qualities, standards and courage. Hence, we cannot endure the trials of love.
The Church is witnessing the same challenges today. People have become unteachable. Virtues, values and valour are thrown out of the window. The Church, the bride of Christ is in a quandary. How will she respond to the degradation of the virtues and value of the gospel? Will she compromise her divine values in favour of alleged human rights? Already some individuals are preaching from their pulpits: the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah has nothing to do with buggery but are sins against aloofness. Excuse me! Where did this new theology come from?
Today’s Liturgy of the Word reminds us, when people are oblivious of the saving actions of God, they fall into a state of depravity. His spouse, the Church, as mother and teacher of children of God in the world, must never abandon her post. She must do all within her power to achieve what the divine word is entrusted to her to accomplish: to teach the virtues and values of God and Christ, expose falsehood, correct and call people back to holiness and fidelity and stewardship (2 Tim.3:16-17). However, she must do so just as Christ did, with compassion and love, mercy and solidarity.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers for a struggling Church in the world today.