Saturday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
It is always striking to hear St. Paul describe the conditions in which he preached the Gospel. “To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are poorly clad and roughly treated, we wander about homeless and we toil, working with our own hands.” (1Cor 4:11-12) To follow Christ does not always promise a material reward in this world.
Nor should we necessarily desire such a reward. There is a story of St. Thomas Aquinas praying before a crucifix and hearing the Lord say, “Thomas, you have written well about me. What would you like in return?” The saint’s response? “Nothing but you, o Lord.” Non nisi te, Domine.
As we seek to follow Christ in humility and love for our brothers and sisters, especially those in need, let us as for something in return from the Lord. But let us ask simply for Him. When we allow the Lord to live in our hearts each day, then we will be able to live like Jesus, even in the midst of a world which does not support such a life. Then with St. Paul, we may be able to say “When ridiculed, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we respond gently.” May the Lord grant us such a reward (1Cor 4:12-13).