Monday, October 31, 2022, 31st Week of Ordinary Time, Year CII
by Fr. David M. Knight
View readings for today:
Philippians 2: 1-4 is based on the total abandonment that is the soul of stewardship: “Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.” As stewards of the kingship of Christ we live only to contribute to the establishment of his reign on earth.
We choose to let nothing else matter to us. This is what makes possible what Paul begs for: “fellowship in spirit… unanimity, possessing the one love, united in spirit and ideals.”
Never act out of rivalry or conceit. Rather, let all parties think humbly of others as superior to themselves, each of you looking not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.
Abandonment may sound like an impossibly high ideal. But in the measure that more and more people in love with God and neighbor achieve it, there will be peace and unity in the Church. A peace that will extend to unite the world. Is this worth striving for?
We don’t really “strive” for it so much as keep surrendering to God as he leads us to it.
This is what the Responsorial Psalm says:
O Lord, my heart is not proud,
nor are my eyes haughty;
I busy myself not with great things,
nor with things too sublime for me.
Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted my soul, like a weaned child.
Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap, so is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord….
In Luke 14: 12-14 Jesus teaches the same thing: total abandonment of self-interest for the sake of others:
When you have a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. You should be pleased that they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid in the resurrection….
John Paul II found this spirit of stewardship in Jesus’ exhortation to “sell all you possess”:
This vocation to perfect love is not restricted to a small group of individuals. The invitation, “Go, sell your possessions and give the money to the poor,” and the promise “You will have treasure in heaven” are meant for everyone, because they bring out the full meaning of the commandment of love for neighbor.1
The principle is that that we should put all we have and are at the service of others: our time, energies, possessions and talents: “all we possess.” This is the total abandonment of all we have and are to the work and promise of the kingdom. And it is perfect stewardship.
It is also the only true way to total peace of soul: “In you, Lord, I have found my peace.”
1See John Paul’s letter The Splendor of Truth, nos. 18-20.
Initiative: Be Christ’s steward. Find peace in humility and abandonment.
Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry