Father David's Reflection for Saturday of Week Twenty-Eight (Ordinary Time)
The Responsorial Psalm declares: “The Lord remembers his covenant forever” (Psalm 105).
In Romans 4: 13-18 Paul tells us that God made his covenant with Abraham, not because he observed all God’s laws, but because he believed what God told him. “For this reason [the covenant] depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants — not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham.”
Translated into daily life, this means that we enter into authentic relationship with Jesus Christ, not by keeping his laws, but by putting faith in him as a person, trusting in him, counting on his promises because they come from him, and loving him for what he is in himself. We may fall into sins, but as long as we are giving him our faith, hope and love we are bonded with him. If we are “faith-full” in relating to Jesus, he will be faithful to us: “The Lord remembers his covenant forever.”
We don’t grow in holiness by focusing on God’s laws and obeying them blindly, just because he said to. We grow by looking at the face of Jesus and keeping his laws because of what we see. St. Teresa said, “If when we pray we are not aware of whom we are speaking to, or of what we are asking — not conscious of who is asking what of whom, I do not call that prayer, no matter how much the lips move” (Interior Castle I, 1). Likewise, to keep God’s law just because we should, without being aware of showing personal respect and love for God when we do, is not true obedience to God as Father and Lord. It is just external conformity to a set of rules. We need to pray, obey, and do everything else we do as Christians in a way that is a conscious expression of faith, hope and love.
In Luke 12: 8-12 Jesus tells us that whenever we act for him he will be present through his Spirit, acting with us, within us and through us. The life of grace is a shared life, in which we act in unison with Jesus by following the inspirations of his Spirit.
We make a major passage in the spiritual life when we become less conscious of being guided by external rules, conforming to the behavior expected of us as “good Catholics,” and more conscious of following the voice of the Holy Spirit. We may experience this just as living out our faith personally, choosing consciously to trust in God and to express our love for him. Then we “acknowledge Christ” in action without fear of others. Then we know “the Lord remembers his covenant forever,” because, as faithful stewards, we too are remembering it.
Initiative: Be Christ’s steward. Remember the covenant and be faith-full.