Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The parable for today confronts us with the question: How do we wear our Christianity? I have a cross around my neck. That’s nice. But that’s insufficient. That’s a mere sign of the Presence of the Lord. To wear our Christianity, our lifestyle must consist in choosing Jesus in every aspect of our lives[1].

And that is pretty hard. How can we wear Jesus Christ? How do we develop the Christian attitude of life? How do we inculcate Christianity into every aspect of our existence? Fr. John Fullenbach, a very good theologian and spiritual writer, says that every morning after we wake up we should reflect on three concepts, pray over them, and talk to God over them.

The first thought is this. God’s love for me is unconditional. God doesn’t love me because He wants this or that from me. He doesn’t love me for what I do. He loves me for who I am. We need to reflect on this every day. God sees me and sees you as a parent see his or her child. We are good because we are loved by the One who is All Good. Don’t take this for granted. Let us reflect on it every day. Sometimes we get down on ourselves, so we have to remember: God loves me and God loves you unconditionally.

The second thought we need to strengthen each day is this: God forgives me. When we recognize our sins, we are full of self loathing. God loves us too much to allow us to wallow in guilt and self-loathing. He forgives us. He wants us happy.

The third thought flows from the first two is: God is with me. We need to meditate on this each day as part of our hello to God in the morning. God is with me. What is today going to throw at me? Is it going to be more than I can handle? No, it will not be. And here is where St. Paul’s words in today’s second reading fit in: I can do all things in Him who strengthens me[2] .There is nothing that is going to happen today or tomorrow or next week that I will not be able to handle together with the One who loves me so much.

People long for the Truth. And people need us to stand up for the Truth Incarnate. The world needs us to wear Christ proudly. To put His wedding garment on, we need to meditate every day on the three realities of Christian life: God loves me with an unconditional love. He continually forgives me. And He is always with me.

Life is beautiful. Jesus Christ is beautiful. Jesus has made us beautiful.

How can we protect this beauty in the face of temptations? We can do all things in Him who strengthens us ■

[1] Sunday 12th October, 2008, SUN 12TH. 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Readings: Isaiah 25:6-10. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life Ps 22(23). Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20. Matthew 22:1-14.
[2] Philippians 4:13
Ilustration:

Maître Francois (C. 1475-80), Museum Meermanno Westreenianum, The Hague
Notes: From Augustine's "La Cité de Dieu", book I-X (translation from the Latin by Raoul de Presles) (manuscript "Den Haag, MMW, 10 A 11"). Book 10, 14.

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris