Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s opening prayer, the Church asks the Lord for two key graces:
…give all who for the faith they profess are accounted Christians the grace to reject whatever is contrary to the name of Christ and to strive after all that does it honor.
The Lord has given us an startling dignity in allows us to bear the name of Christian. As St. Paul writes to the Ephesians, God the Father has given us every blessing in Christ, He has made us His own dear children in Christ, He has redeemed us and lavished us with grace in Christ. (Eph 1:3,5,7,8) When we consider all the good that Jesus has done for us, we should want to strive after everything that will bring Him praise. Thanks be to God there are so many examples of what brings him praise: the humility, faith, purity, hope, gratitude, and love seen in the lives of the saints who sought and found what would glorify God.
We should also ask for the grace to reject whatever is contrary to the name of Christ. In the long history of the Church, we can also find many examples of those who took upon themselves the name of Christian, and yet who welcomed with open arms actions and habits quite antithetical to those of Christ. Pride, greed, lust, rage, boredom, fear… each in its turn presents itself as a temptation in our lives at one time or another. Yet, with the Lord’s grace we can recognize and reject these spiritually corrosive tendencies, and instead seek that which will give praise to our God.