Immersed in Christ: November 3, 2020
Tuesday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
The Responsorial Psalm is a vision of the kingdom established: “I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people” (Psalm 26).
In Philippians 2: 5-11. Paul roots abandonment in Jesus’ example:
Your attitude must be Christ’s. Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped at. Rather, he emptied himself and took the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.
If for our sake Jesus was willing to give up what he had as God in heaven, we should be willing for the sake of others to give up what we have here on earth! No matter how rich we are, it is still very little. And it doesn’t last.
To trade life for Life is a good bargain. Granted, it may be a long-term investment (or may not be; who knows?), but the pay-off is enormous.
Paul gives us Jesus again as an example of abandonment’s reward:
Because of this God highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name above every other name,
So that at Jesus’ name every knee must bend, in the heavens, on earth, and under the earth,
and every tongue proclaim to the glory of God the Father,
JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!
In our case, the payoff is to see the reign of God established on earth as it is in heaven. We will see the “unity and peace of his kingdom” when all are gathered together in perfect reconciliation and love at the “wedding banquet of the Lamb,” but there is no reason why this cannot be increasingly realized on earth, here and now. No reason except people’s refusal to abandon themselves and their misguided self-interest in order to devote themselves as faithful stewards to establishing the kingship of Christ.
In Luke 14: 15-24 Jesus tells us why they won’t. A guest at a party got carried away thinking about what a party we will have at the “wedding banquet of the Lamb.” He said, “How blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!”
Jesus answered that a lot of people don’t feel this way. The invitation to the party is offered to all. But many — and sometimes it seems to be most — of those invited say they just haven’t got time for it.
They all alike began to make excuses: “I have bought some land, and I must go out and inspect it…. I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going out to test them…. I have just got married, and therefore I cannot come.”
Possessions, work and family concerns absorb us. We play with our toys, work to buy more, and think we can have a good family life without focusing on God. If the “Abandon ship!” were sounding and rescue were at hand, we would be too preoccupied to pay attention! So who are the fools?
Initiative: Be Christ’s steward. Look ahead. Use time for eternity.