Living In Accord With God’s Will
A reflection for the sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time, (Quinquagesima Sunday)
By Rev. Robert Johnnene OFD, Mission Saints Sergius and Bacchus/ Franciscans of Divine Mercy
Jeremiah 17:5-8, Psalm 1:1-4, 1Corinthians 15:12-20, Luke 6:17-26
How appropriate it is that the Sunday set aside to honor lovers and love we hear a message in Scripture of how to love God and Serve God and ALL His children by being unselfish and generous and accepting our lot in life as God has given it to us. The Mass readings are an affirmation of how a trusting and loving God will bring peace and comfort to those who suffer rejection, poverty, and abuse by those who feel superior and self-righteous and claim to be followers of Christ and Children of God.
Throughout scripture God has made it quite clear that he esteems those who accept how He created them and live in accord with His will. He loves and admires those who have compassion and generosity for those who are in need or suffering from poverty, illness or persecution.
Luke’s Gospel reading, which is commonly called the “Sermon On The Mount, details how people who endure hunger, poverty, alienation and rejection are the persons God loves and admires; “And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be you poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you that hunger now: for you shall be filled. Blessed are you that weep now: for you shall laugh. Blessed are you, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice you in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers to the prophets. But woe to you that are rich! For you have received your consolation. Woe to you that are full! For you shall hunger. Woe to you that laugh now! For you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets. But I say to you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which spitefully use you. And to him that smites you on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that takes away your cloak forbid not to take your coat also. Give to every man that asks of you; and of him that takes away your goods ask them not again. And as you would that men should do to you, do you also to them likewise. For if you love them which love you, what thank have you? For sinners also love those that love them. And if you do good to them which do good to you, what thank have you? For sinners also do even the same. And if you lend to them of whom you hope to receive, what thank have you? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love you your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and you shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind to the unthankful and to the evil. Be you therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and you shall not be judged: condemn not, and you shall not be condemned: forgive, and you shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you mete with it shall be measured to you again.”
The reading from Jeremiah 17:5-8 and the Psalm have the same message for us to ponder.
When we really reflect on the readings for this Sunday we have to ask some deep and penetrating questions on how well we are doing in living up to the way of the Lord.
To meditate in God's word, is to look deeply within ourselves concerning how well our lives reflect the teachings of Christ and will of God. We must have constant regard to the guidelines Christ and the prophets have given us concerning our actions in every day life.
On Wednesday we begin the season of Lent which is a time for us to take inventory of our relationship with Almighty God and how we live out our daily lives in accord with God’s teachings.
Over the last few weeks I have reflected on the things we do not need in our life; Anger, greed, jealousy, pride, envy, discrimination, gossip, and being self-serving to truly follow the path of Christ.
The world today praises the rich powerful and famous. That is not God’s way. Christ was rejected in His day because the message he proclaimed was not the one people wanted to hear. The same may well be said for this day and age. We have choices to make. We can choose to live a life in accord with Christ’s teachings or we can choose those things that are comfortable for us to do and reject the ones that might cause us some difficulty.
What we choose and what our rewards will be depends solely on us.
Let us try to live in accord with the Sermon on the Mount and the lessons of the Psalm and first reading and make any changes we need to make during this lent so that we reflect more God’s way in our daily life. I leave you with this prayer I ask of God daily;
Father, into your hands I commend my soul, for I so need to surrender myself unto you and trust in and have faith in you in all things. Let your will be done in me always and lead me in your ways so that I may serve you in all things. Almighty God, Grant unto me your gifts of forgiveness to all who have harmed me, compassion toward all those in need, acceptance of all your children, and mercy and charity toward all I encounter. I ask this in the name of your beloved son, Jesus Christ, my redeemer and savior who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit as one God now and forever. AMEN