Saturday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
In the First Reading today Paul reminds the Corinthians – and ourselves – that even from a human point of view most of us are not much – mediocre at best. Yet, he says, Christ is wisdom, sanctification and redemption for each one of us. Nothing we have apart from him gives us reason to be swellheads. That should keep us honest – that is humble. In the Gospel Jesus develops this theme.
Basically he tells us to accept ourselves who we are, and rather than comparing ourselves to others, appreciate what our Heavenly Father has given to each of us in love. The infant is our model. He sees all he receives from his parent.
But God does not expect us to lie back and coo like an infant. His love is exigent. Paul picks up on the same theme when he speaks of work. We are expected to use productively what God has given to us in trust. Not to do so is to refuse the particular vocation he has given us. He expects us to be active, involved. No pity-parties tolerated. Fidelity to the little things, the ordinary things that come our way is our participation in God’s joy now. And it is already a taste of what awaits us when we give the account of how we have used the unique gifts he has entrusted to us, a kind of preparation for the joy beyond all our imaginings that he has prepared for us.
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.