Father David's Reflection for Friday of Week Twenty-Eight (Ordinary Time)
The Responsorial Psalm describes the wise steward: “I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me
with the joy of salvation” (Psalm 32 and see Matthew 13:52).
Romans 4: 1-8 teaches us that when we are troubled, and worried about our salvation, we have a choice: we can seek security by making sure we are keeping all of God’s laws; or we can “turn to the Lord” himself and find our security in his love. We can look for security in what we are or we can look for it in what God is. Paul says we are a lot safer trusting in God’s saving love for us than in our own ability to keep his laws.
As Christians we are stewards “of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God,” of the glorious truth that “in Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of his grace.” We are charged to make known “the news of the boundless riches of Christ,” that all might be “strengthened in their inner being with power through his Spirit” — and above all, to make known “the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Paul says, “I want your hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that you may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ himself” (Romans 11:33; Ephesians 1:7; 3:8, 16; Colossians 1:27; 2:2).
The basic choice is, do we focus on laws and law observance, or on the person of Jesus Christ and the overwhelming mystery of his love redeeming us by taking us into his body on the cross? “In him” we died, our sins were annihilated, and we rose again to live as his own body on earth. That is what we are conscious of when we say, “I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.”
The Pharisees lied about Jesus, misrepresented his doctrine and plotted against him in secret. And the Pharisee party in the Church will do the same to all who are “faithful stewards of the truth.” But Jesus, in Luke 12: 1-7 tells us not to fear them. It is not even worth getting into useless controversies with people who are sure they alone have the truth, do not want to learn, and who listen only to contradict. “Don’t worry,” Jesus says, “there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed.” All truth will eventually be made clear.
We need not fear anything humans can say or do against us. The only one to fear is God alone. And if we know his love, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear….” (1John 4:18). Those who know the truth about God live in confidence and in love.
Initiative: Be Christ’s steward. Live in love and fear nothing.