SATURDAY: Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Listed in the Book of Life
God himself, on the day of our baptism, recorded, with the blood of Christ Jesus, our names into the book of life. From that day onward, we are destined to become heirs of God and coheirs with Christ – if we unconditionally, remain faithful and devoted to him to end of our pilgrimage on earth. God never vacillates on his promises. The onus is ours to remain truthful and dedicated to the covenant God established with us.
Christianity, discipleship and stewardship are more than mere functionary roles. They are about building relationships with God, establishing a strong rapport, creating an unbreakable bond and affiliation, a sublime partnership with Christ in building the kingdom of God together on earth as it is in heaven (Ps.8:5; 1Cor.2:16; 1Pet.2:5; Matt.6:10). Thus, our being in Christ and our companionship with Christ challenge us to acquire the mind of Christ, the character, and to inherit the soul of Christ. Towards this end, we must be humble, meek, and obedient always in the presence of God (Phil.2:5-11). We must live to do the will of the Father (Jn.4:34; Lk.22:42). At no time must we ever presume that the power granted to us by God through Christ makes us equal to God or to Christ. We must remain within the boundaries allotted to us as servants of God. We must live and die as persons who live, move, and have their being in Christ.
God did not make us robotized beings acting on the impulse of external power. No! God made us extensions of himself (Ps.8:5). Accordingly, he demonstrated in Christ Jesus the virtues, values and valour we must cultivate to enable us to be part of his vision and mission for the salvation and redemption of the world. Whatever we do, whatever we achieve, our success depends on the power and grace of God at work in us – it is never on our own merits that we are or will be victors.
An atheist can be extremely successful in life and can carry his profession to the extreme but once his or her name is not written in the book of life (Dn.12:1; Lk.10:20; Phil.4:3; Rev.3:5) his/her plan comes to naught and his/her name will be blotted out of the book of life. We must always ready ourselves to give a true account of our stewardship. Otherwise, we will have our names blotted out from the book of life (Ps.69:27-28; Rev.20:15). It is better to wash our robes white in the blood of the Lamb than to be blotted out of the book of life.
God, in other words, did not call us to perform miracles. Like his Son Jesus Christ, God called us to be humble, meek and obedient. That is why he said, obedience is better than sacrifice (1Sam.15:22-23; Jer.17:21-23). What God desires is mercy, not sacrifice (Hos.6:6).
O God, by your grace, teach me to imitate the virtues, values and valour of your Son Jesus Christ.