Tuesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time, June 2
As We Continue Our Walk of Faith Each Day, We Rightfully Belong, Not to Ourselves, But to the God Who Created Us and Redeemed Us Out of Divine Love.
We read from the Second Letter of Peter today, “Wait for and hasten the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved in flames and the elements melted by fire” – a final conflagration, a large destructive fire which was common in the viewpoint of Greco-Roman thought and apocalyptic thinking of many during the time this Letter was written.
And when the Epistles were written, including all of the Letters written by Saint Paul, it was the thinking that the Glorious Second Coming of Christ was imminent, that it was looming in the not-to-distant future. It wasn’t until the centuries began to “tick by” that the passage of time would begin to slowly soften this feeling of imminence.
Yet, even in the past one hundred years, there have been times when certain groups of people would press the feeling that imminent destruction was on the horizon. And their beliefs would cause anxiety and apprehension in those more prone to being impressionable.
Just prior to the turn of the twenty-first century, actually the year 2000 to be more exact, there was tremendous commotion about a possible computer data meltdown because of what was referred to as the Y2K bug, and that several software companies, including Microsoft, needed to remedy a fix which we could either manually or automatically download to all our computers.
And I also remember that there were certain Christian elements who were prophesying that the end of the millennium would usher in the Second Coming of Christ, which we call the Parousia.
Well, our computers were saved and the Parousia is still yet to happen. But when we look at our First Reading, we find Peter telling the faithful Christian communities to “…await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”
Even though the Apostles and the early Christians believed that the “day of God”, the Parousia, would come in their lifetime, what is far more important in this First Reading are Peter’s words, “…be eager to be found without spot or blemish…be on your guard not to be led into the error of the unprincipled and to fall from your own stability. But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.”
Yes, our Lord will come again in all His Glory and Power, but at a time known only to our Eternal Father, and since the exact day and hour are unknown to us, it is absolutely essential for us to always remain vigilant, by living our lives not in anxiety or fear, but in accordance with God’s will for us!
Therefore, this exhortation by Peter in today’s Reading is sound advice for each of us in our individual lives, especially in today’s society. Without the strength which our Sacraments give us, it is so easy to become derailed from the narrow path – a path which leads to personal holiness and sanctity.
When we read the newspapers or look at the daily news on television or the internet, we witness the sadness which envelops so many peoples’ lives through violence, greed and sexual perversity. And the temporal satisfaction which one derives from a perverse fulfillment of the senses is but a hollow victory, for there is no real and lasting peace or sense of contentment!
Even in today’s Gospel, in responding to the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and the Herodians, our Lord tells us to respond to our necessary obligations with our governing institutions, but that we must also balance these obligations with our reverence and devotion to God.
And the key word here is balance. When we live our lives which are secularly oriented and void of God’s Presence in our hearts, our lives become but a hollow shell, for no matter how much we might believe otherwise, there is no enduring peace or true happiness interiorly.
It is only when we render “to God what belongs to God”, as our Lord says to us today, that we will be able to enjoy that serenity and tranquility of heart and soul for which each of us deeply yearns and desires.
This type of giving to God, however, DOES require a commitment on our part. It does require a self-emptying from ourselves of our own pride, our own ego, and our own sense of self, so that we may take upon our human nature the virtues of life which our Lord taught were so important for personal salvation – humility, charity, obedience and a selfless giving of love for the needs of others, placing their needs before our own.
Giving “to God what belongs to God” even entails our stewardship of God’s gifts to us – gifts of time, talent and treasure. God expects us to give back to the Body of Christ that which rightfully belongs to God from the beginning, for stewardship implies that we are caretakers, managers of those gifts which He has entrusted to us.
Even in our Responsorial Psalm for today, we see this very idea of self-emptying in order to receive God’s grace, which is sung in praise of God’s goodness by today’s psalmist, “Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.”
To be filled with God’s kindness, to be filled with His Merciful Love, means we must first be emptied of ourselves, and then be open to all that God is asking of us. To be open to God, we must first realize that we have been stamped with God’s image, since we are created in His own likeness, just as a coin is stamped with the image of our government.
As we give back to our government that which is theirs, so, too, do we rightfully belong, not to ourselves, but to the God who created us and redeemed us out of Divine Love as we continue our individual walks of faith each day. And, it is only fitting that we should freely give back to our Creator that which is His – our hearts and our souls, through our acts of faith, hope and love.
For it is in this giving back to God wherein we find our true vocation in life, our true purpose in being called children of God – for God will always be our true Father, and Heaven will always be our true Home! †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “…according to his promise we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you await these things, be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace.” (2 Peter 3:13-14)
- But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:17-18a)
- “So Jesus said to them, ‘Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.’” (Mark 12:17ab)
- “Jesus replied…‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.’” (Mark 12:29a, 30-31)
- “I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)
- “Pay to all their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, toll to whom toll is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due. Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another.” (Romans 13:7-8a)
- “Fill us at daybreak with your mercy, that all our days we may sing for joy.” (Psalm 90:14)
- “But as it is written: ‘What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him.’” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
Prayer for the Day
“Lord Jesus, our Savior,
let us now come to You:
Our hearts are cold;
Lord, warm them with Your selfless Love.
“Our hearts are sinful;
cleanse them with Your Precious Blood.
Our hearts are weak;
strengthen them with Your joyous Spirit.
“Our hearts are empty;Saint Augustine
fill them with Your Divine Presence.
Lord Jesus, our hearts are Yours;
possess them always and only for Yourself.”