Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus gives me a striking message in today’s Gospel. He inserts himself in humanity and, partaking in the social climate of the day, he identifies with others, the yeast that causes the dough to rise.
At the same time there is a paradox. He, who is God, speaking in the language of man, is not accepted by his own. Doesn’t that show how history repeats itself? His collaborators – co-laborers, apostles for the past 2000 years – repeating his message, have been, and continue to be rejected by those who hear them speak.
Wanting to be an apostle means wanting to be attentive to those about me, to those who come in to my life through the media, to all who have a need to know and embrace the Gospel message. It also means that in all I say and do I have to be a true witness to the message I announce. Not easy. But: “My grace is sufficient for you,” the Lord tells the Apostle Paul in the 2nd reading, “for power is made perfect in weakness.”
And the condition? I should reflect on the responsorial psalm: “Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.”
Grace: An intimate knowledge of the many blessings received, that filled with gratitude for all, I may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty.
Reflection: In the meditation upon sin, we made reference to Dante’s vision of hell, a cold, desolate place where the fire of love has been extinguished and all lies in a spiritual torpor. This is the perfect image of the heart grown cold to the stirrings of love which God places within it. At the opposite end of Dante’s journey lies a vision that perfectly encapsulates the final meditation of the Spiritual Exercises, the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love. From the lowest reaches of the spiritual universe, Dante ascends to the heights of heaven, where he views “the love that moves the sun and the other stars.” At the heart of the universe lives the Trinitarian God, whose perfect love draws all being into an ordered symphony of praise. Dante feels himself drawn into this harmonic vision through the enflaming of his passions and desires. No one with eyes to see can sit impassively at the vision of God’s love. From the disordered state in which Dante had fallen at the beginning of the poem, he becomes progressively cleansed of his disordered affections through the grace of God and the intercession of Beatrice until finally he is able to pass through the heavens and stand in the presence of God. But notice that Dante only sees God’s depths after he has been interiorly transformed.