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  • Father David M. Knight

Father David's Reflection for Tuesday of Week Twenty-Nine (Ordinary Time)

The Responsorial Psalm is the watchword of Christian stewardship: “Here am I, Lord, I come to do your will

(Psalm 40).

In Romans 5: 12-21 Paul explains that “just as through one man [Adam] sin entered the world, and with sin death,” so through the act of one man, Jesus Christ — his unique act of dying and rising from the dead — all our sins were annihilated and life was restored — not just human life but divine life, life unending. To be “saved” we have to be incorporated (through Baptism) into the body of Christ on the cross, die “in him,” and let God bring us back to life. We “rise up” from Baptism, not just as human beings, but as the risen body of Jesus, in whom Jesus continues his presence and mission to the world (Romans 6:3-4).

This is the mystery of our redemption and the mystery of our identity in grace: by the gift of grace — of sharing in the divine life of God through incorporation into Christ’s body — “we have become not only Christians, but Christ.” These are the words of St. Augustine, speaking to the baptized: “Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ!” That is why, when John Paul II quotes this he concludes that, for Christians, “Jesus' way of acting and his words, his deeds and his precepts constitute the moral rule of Christian life” (The Splendor of Truth​, nos. 20-21).

Today the “one man,” Jesus, continues his work on earth in and through the “one man” or “one woman” that each of us is as his risen body on earth. When one of us sees what needs to be done, we are the “one” who must exercise leadership in getting it done. As his faithful stewards we say, “Here am I, Lord, I come to do your will.” Then we try to do it.

The Christian life is a life of stewardship and service. We are not here to “lean on our lives, expecting destiny to keep its date.” Any time we waste is time we are managing for God. Jesus says (Luke 12: 35-38), ”Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit.” Wherever we are, and whatever we are involved in, we are responsible for trying to bring about the “reign of God.” And that should not be an abstract idea for us.

When God reigns in business and politics, home and social life, education and entertainment, this world will be a life-giving, life-enhancing paradise: not just for the few who are rich and privileged, but for all. Until it is this, we have work to do. Jesus says, “Blessed are those whom the master finds alert [and on the job] when he comes.”

Initiative: Be Christ’s steward. Act as if you were the only one who can.

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