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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

One Step at a Time

by Fr. David M. Knight


June 4, 2024

Tuesday of the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

Lectionary 354

2 Pt 3:12-15a, 17-18/Mk 12:13-17

 

2Peter 3:12-18 urges us to the “faithful stewardship” and total abandonment of the fifth (combined) petition of the Our Father: “Give us... and forgive us....” In this petition we reduce all our desires to one: longing for the “wedding banquet of the Lamb,” where Christ will be the Bread and joy of the banquet, given to all and only those who are united in perfect mutual forgiveness and love.

 

Peter tells us: “Look for the coming of the day of God and try to hasten it.” As stewards of his kingship (anointed “kings” in Baptism), we work single-mindedly to establish the reign of his peace and love over every area and activity of human life on earth. We have abandoned everything we have and are to God—our possessions, health, energy, talents, and the time we have on earth to use and enjoy them. We have “died in Christ.” We are “crucified to the world and the world to us.” We live for nothing but God: to know him more intimately, love him more passionately, and serve him with all our strength.[i]

 

We have given over everything we have and are to God, and he has placed everything back in our hands, to manage for him. He has made us “stewards of the manifold grace of God,” to “serve one another with whatever gift” each of us has been entrusted with.[ii]

 

If this level of abandonment to God seems daunting, we should remember that it is the last of five phases of spiritual growth expanded to seven in yesterday’s reading, which called us to supplement: 1. faith (in our new identity as God’s children) with virtue; 2. virtue with knowledge (discipleship); 3. knowledge with self-control (for the sake of mission);  self-control with perseverance; 4. perseverance with focus on God in devotion; devotion with extension to nurturing relationship in ministry; 5. and to transform nurturing relationship  into perfect love (agape) in the total abandonment that is stewardship. We grow one step at a time.

 

In Mark 12:13-17 Jesus refuses to answer the question, which was just meant as a trap anyway. Instead, he summons us to identify the god we serve. He asks about the coin: “Whose head is this?” They answer, “Caesar’s.” So, he tells them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but to God what is God’s”—knowing that, once we give to God what is God’s, there is nothing left over. We give nothing to Caesar except what we, as stewards, believe God wants us to give him according to God’s laws and the common good of the country. We have one God. We give him all for All.

 

Decision: Deny ownership of everything you have. Manage everything for God.

 

Prayer: In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge. (Responsorial: Psalm 90)


[i] See  Galatians 6:14; St. Ignatius of Loyola, Spiritual Exercises, the prayer for the meditations of the Second Week, no. 104 and in the “Contemplation for Obtaining Love,” no. 234.

[ii] 1Peter 4:10.


Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry




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