Wednesday, April 16, 2014

“The key to faith is what we are willing to sacrifice to obtain it.”

“The difference between an admirer and a follower still remains, no matter where you are. The admirer never makes any true sacrifices. He always plays it safe. Though in words, phrases, songs, he is inexhaustible about how highly he prizes Christ, he renounces nothing, gives up nothing, will not reconstruct his life, will not be what he admires, and will not let his life express what it is he supposedly admires.” ― Søren Kierkegaard, Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard

Scripture text: (PS 69:8-10, 21-22, 31 AND 33-34)
R. (14c) Lord, in your great love, answer me.
For your sake I bear insult,
and shame covers my face.
I have become an outcast to my brothers,
a stranger to my mother’s sons,
because zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak,
I looked for sympathy, but there was none;
for consolers, not one could I find.
Rather they put gall in my food,
and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving:
“See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.”
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me

“As I have done, so you also must do.” (Jn 13:15) Jesus stoops down from the height of his divinity and serves his own. He asks us to stoop down as well. He elevates us into divine communion, so that we too can descend and reach out to others. God comes to serve us, so we must serve the least of society. We must give ourselves. We need to give something of our time, our energy, our love, to those who count for nothing, those whose God-given dignity is still veiled, whose dignity is still hidden to the eyes of the world. We are to go and serve those in chronic poverty. We are to reach out to battered women, to the handicapped, to the dying, to the unborn, those who are nobodies in the eyes of the world. So often, our society treats them as servants or slaves, as nothing. So we must make personal sacrifices, and live for others.

Our share of the Eucharist will be quite fruitless unless we can live the Eucharist each day.

But Jesus doesn’t just ask for a couple of good works here and there. He orders his whole life towards the service of his disciples. So must we.

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