Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest

Friday, September 22, 2017

1Tim 6:13-16; Ps 100:1-5; Lk 8:4-15
“Come with joy into the presence of the Lord”

Joy travels with those who come into the presence of the Lord. Joy bursts into song and gladness. Joy comes from knowing that the Lord is God, and He has made us; we are his people, and the sheep of his flock. We hear his voice calling, and we enter into his presence with great thanks and into his courts with jubilant praise. We bless His Name for the Lord is good, and his kindness is upon all those who are faithful, to all generations. Such is the boundless joy of the Kingdom of God. Such is the joy of Saint Timothy and Saint Paul as they serve the Lord whom no human being has seen or can see, the King of kings and Lord of lords. We who have heard the good news of the Kingdom and have embraced it with a generous heart will bear fruit through perseverance. This is the good news of Saint Luke and all who have knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom. Into this Kingdom we are summoned today, at this liturgy, that we might taste and see that the Lord is good.

Saint Paul charges his disciple Saint Timothy and all who follow them to keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ. One might ask, “and what commandment is that?” Perhaps, it is the commandment to give courageous testimony and noble confession to the Lord Jesus Christ. Saint Paul has an edge of urgency in his appeal to Saint Timothy and his church. The One Who Comes in the name of the Lord is near and at hand, indeed, He is present and in command of this very assembly of believers, He who dwells in unapproachable light. Perhaps his urgency is for the second coming of the Lord, or perhaps it is for the present coming of the Lord in the mysteries of the liturgy. Either way we must be ready, like good soil, deep and fertile, moist and receptive for the Sower to pass by and touch down as the seed for new life, fruitful life.

The Lord Jesus speaks to the large crowds in every generation. These people gather from one town after another and accompany the Lord on his journey to Jerusalem. To them the Lord Jesus speaks in parables so that those who have ears to hear ought to hear. When the disciples ask him to explain his parable, the Lord Jesus assured them about their knowledge of the Kingdom of God, “but to the rest, they are made know through parables so that they may look but not see, and hear but not understand.” Indeed, the parables of the Lord become a constant invitation and a challenge to see more than is visible and to hear more than is spoken. The parables will never be broken open by worldly wisdom or critical tools. Rather, these stories are seeds that contain within the very mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven, and they can be opened up only in soil that is rich and ready. When these mysteries take root in the soil of a generous and good heart they are not so much understood; rather, they help us to understand ourselves and to grow in the wisdom of the Kingdom of God which will be manifest at the proper time for the honor and glory of the Lord Our God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Indeed, the mysteries break us open and reveal the Kingdom of God already present and alive within our hearts.


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