Immersed in Christ: November 11, 2020
Wednesday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
The Responsorial Psalm reminds us where to look for guidance and support: “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want” (Psalm 23).
Titus 3: 1-7 teaches us that even though “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20), we need to be good citizens of this earth as well: to be “loyally subject to the government and its officials, to obey the laws, to be ready to take on any honest employment.” We are not separatists. To work as faithful stewards to establish the reign of God over our society, we have to be involved members of our society. And of the human race as a whole. In the spirit of the Incarnation we say (with Terentius), “I am a human being; nothing human is foreign to me.”
As enlightened by Christ, however, we see that many values humans care about are not authentic human values at all. And “we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient” to God while slaves to society’s demands. We were “blind guides,” led by and leading the blind. But “when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,” God saved us, not because of anything we had done, but just “because of his mercy.” This calls us to be “stewards of his mercy.”
We who, left to ourselves were slaves of cultural conditioning, once freed by God’s mercy, should show this same mercy to all those with whom we associate — in family life, business, politics, or just common citizenship. We show “mercy” (help others out of sense of relationship) by taking responsibility for creating environments in which all can say with gladness and conscious gratitude: “The Lord is our shepherd; there is nothing we shall want.”
Luke 17: 11-19 shows us a man exercising leadership, which is simply stewardship trying to bring about change. One leper out of the ten cured did not act like the others. He “came back praising God in a loud voice.” Whether anyone followed his lead at the time, he set a precedent. He saw what was to be done and did it. Through many acts of leadership like this, we gradually change attitudes and values. We renew society. We just have to be alert to see what is missing, what is wrong, and what will set it right, then persevere in doing it until Christ comes again!
Jesus told the cured leper, “Stand up and go your way.” We need to stand up. Stand up for. Stand up against. Stand up alone. Stand up with others. But stand up. And “go our way,” which is his way, not the way of our culture, the way of our peer group, or the way that teachers who are not the Teacher may have taught us. This is leadership. This is stewardship.
Initiative: Be Christ’s steward. Take responsibility for breaking new ground.