I must admit, this topic was greatly influenced this morning by our presider and homilist, Archbishop O’Brien (Baltimore). As when he was my rector at the North American College, he still has quite the ability to inspire! The latter reflection was the fruit of praying the rosary this morning.
Today’s first reading for Mass from the Book of Revelation (3:1-6, 14-22) calls to mind the great “sin” of two of the early Churches. The great “sin” was that they were complacent. I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot…So, because you are lukewarm…I will spit you out of my mouth.
How much have we adapted the ways of our time and culture? How well have we assimilated our faith? Which of these sets of “values” do others see in our life style and way of life? Are we so lukewarm in our own faith, that the Lord would willingly spew us out of His mouth?
So much of the life of the Christian is to be a life of service. Is our life at the service of the Lord and His Church? Is our life at the service of God’s people? Perhaps a good lense for reflection comes from the Sorrowful Mysteries, as proposed to us this Tuesday.
The First Mystery we see Jesus in the Garden of Agony. He has invited His own disciples to remain with Him and pray, while He goes off to be alone in intimate union with the Father in prayer. This intimacy of union with the Father grew all his earthly life, and as He comes to the culmination of His life’s ministry, He once again draws near to the Father for the strength, grace, and love He will draw from all along the Via Dolorosa.
As Jesus is scourged, the real fruit of that moment is not so much what is happening “to Him”, the beating that He takes, but from what comes from “within Him”. In this moment, Jesus, still united in intimate love with the Father, acts out of tremendous love for the redemption of all of us. What iminates from His Sacred Heart is “given” to us; an interior generosity, a free gift of the fullness of His Divine Love for the redemption of the world.
This is the true gift of love. This is the true gift of service. This is a life lived as a radiant fire of love in order to give the quenching drink of eternal life. May our own lives, which flow from this Fire of Love, bring the same warmth of love to others. May the same gift of Faith we have received serve as a font of life to quench the thirst of those we serve in this life.
Keep serving in Love and Truth, Church!