THURSDAY: Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Living in the Hands of the Lord
Humankind’s innate problems are rooted in duplicity, superficialism and egocentricity. Those who suffer from the above-mentioned syndromes are recognised “I specialists”. Their self-prescribed lenses are opaque on the outside; they have a mirrored effect on the inside –they see only their emulated reflections. They can only perceive the world through their sensory glands and interpret everything in accordance with their individualistic shortsighted goals and ambition.
Perhaps Christ must have shied from this diagnosis when he addressed the behavioural patterns of the scribes, Pharisees and lawyers of his time. However, their atrocious and heinous acts they and their ancestors unleashed against the prophets and Christ Jesus himself to protect their myopic individualistic goals and ambition demonstrate the narrow-mindedness cultivated by such persons who seek only their short-term goals, interests and ambition and forget that every individual is accountable to God and will be judged according to his/her deeds.
St. Paul, a convert from this form of spiritual blindness, recklessness, and a dogmatic way of life acknowledged their futility and ineffectiveness in the plan of salvation. Thus, he challenged his contemporaries to move away from the inflexible interpretation of the Law and allow faith and the grace of God to transform their wretched bodies into copies of the living presence of Christ. In other words, give faith and grace a chance and we will rediscover the true image and likeness of God in our soul.
How does this message apply to us today? We are living in a time where Christianity is interpreted as conformity to the principles of their respective founders – not Christ any more. A time when people are drifting further and further away from faith and grace into a rigid form of cultism. Rituals find greater respect than the Word of God, faith in Christ and openness to grace are relegated to the things of the past.
Christianity is increasingly restricted to the pews. Poetic justice has replaced social justice. Survival for the fittest has ousted Caritas and Filial love. Theology of prosperity has overthrown the language of the Cross – psychological counselling has supplanted the grace of the Sacrament of reconciliation and materialism and individualism have rejected the notion of the Mystical Body of Christ and community. Meanwhile, the clergy is seeking ways of climbing the social ladder in search of public recognition oblivious of the altruistic way of life Christ portrayed for his disciples and apostles. Yes! We are back to where the scribes, Pharisees and lawyers to were at the time of Christ. Is there a way out for this generation?
Yes! There is. The Psalmist provides us with a prescription and a prognosis. “In God alone is my soul at rest; my help comes from him. He alone is my rock, my stronghold, my fortress: I stand firm (Ps.61:2-3).” St. Augustine who was once a Pharisee of his own rite later confirmed, only in God is man’s soul at rest. Let us opt out of our individualism and place ourselves into the hands of God and we will be able to redeem this generation and ourselves.
Save us, O Lord, or we perish.