Thursday, 29 April 2010
Fruits of Lectio Divina - April 29
Let us poor sinners today cry out for the marvellous intercession of Saint Peter of Verona, so that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
The Epistle is taken by the Second Letter of Blessed Paul the Apostle to Timothy, 2:8-10; 3:10-12.
Saint Paul, called by our Lord directly to become the Apostle to the nations has a timely message for us all even today. He reaffirms the truth that so many deny; Christ truly rose again from the dead after being put to death by sinful men.In fact, if He did not rise again, our faith would be in vain. He was 'of the seed of David', the promised one who would occupy the throne and exercise dominion over His kingdom, with His foes beneath His feet. He was and still is (He will never set aside His humanity) true God and true man. Consubstantial with the Father according to His divinity and of the same nature with us according to His assumed humanity, united in one existing subject, the Second Person of the Undivided Trinity.
Our Lord calls us out of sluggishness to follow Him, to turn aside from Egypt, to enter into a union of love with God and to be one with Him as He is with His Father. This is the purpose of the Christian life.
The human person shys away from difficulty, it is not becoming to the nature of man to toil. Yet as a result of man's Fall in Adam, suffering leading to death cannot be avoided. As the Apostle in his Epistle to the Romans rightly states though, all can be turned to good for those who love God. The Cross gains us salvation; the Way of the Cross leads us to it.
All earthly pains are as nothing compared to the glory that is to be revealed in us when the time comes. Let us meditate on our Master who went before us, even to death on a cross, but was exalted as He submitted to the Father's will. He set aside His glory, assumed the condition of a slave, all for you so that you may avoid the pains of hell and enjoy a more blessed mode of existence. His great love for sinners knows no bounds.
Do you suffer? Blessed be God. Do you toil? Blessed be God. Are you mocked by men? Blessed be God. Such a path was trod by our Saviour. He sanctified the way before us, making it possible for us to be inherit the kingdom prepared for us before the foundation of the world. Is the servant greater than the Master? Why do you turn aside by 'walking in the man'? Why do we wish to remodel the revelation of God to our own mind?
The grace to enable us to become saints receives its efficacy from the Cross of our Lord which will infallibly lead us onto life if we choose to accept it(an acknowledgement to Fr. Emerson for this). Out of the sleeping Adam, came His bride Eve; out from the sleeping Christ came the Church (the blood and water, the sacrament of salvation, outside of which no man can be saved. All graces pass through her, so if a man cuts himself from her or refuses to be united in the one vine, he will have no life in him.
Saint Paul begged for God to remove the thorn from his side, but the reply came as, 'My grace is sufficient for you', let us then accept whatever is given to us in order to increase our sanctity which comes through patience and resignation to the divine will.
The just man must suffer, however, 'he shall not be bruised: for the Lord putteth His hand under him. He showeth mercy and leadeth all the day long''. That means, our refuge and strength is in God alone, the help of man is in vain. So with this grace which is promised to us, as God is never outdone in generosity, let us become channels of grace so that the message of our salvation to others will not be impeded. How inspired must have been the early Christians when they noticed the hardships the Apostle was willing to undergo for their salvation! When a cross is loaded upon our shouldiers, let us embrace it joyfully in a manner befitting a servant of Christ. The hope we have in the Catholic Faith must emcompass, direct and inform our lives, no harm to our bodies can then injure our soul.
We must also beseech the mercy and most powerful intercession of the spotless Mother of God, the Mother of the Church, who will leads us always in her great love which surpasses all creatures to her Son.