Saint for the day:Philip Neri (July 21,1515 – May 26, 1595
James 5:9-12 – Psalm 101 – Mark 10:1-12
“Your word, O Lord is truth. Consecrate us in your truth.” (Today’s Alleluia verse.)
As I was typing the above scripture quote from today’s Liturgy the word, “consecrate” caught my attention and I began to think of all the ways that word is used in our liturgies. In the end I had to admit that, any way you slice it, we’re still going to have to face the fact that there will be some substantial change affecting the way we understand God and how we follow Jesus. If the priest’s words of consecration at Mass can change the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ don’t you think that God can change some of the bad things in our lives into something that more easily brings about peace and unity?
Take a little time to think about all different ways you understand the use of this word, “consecrate.” We also hear the phrases, “Do not judge or condemn. If we tie these two thoughts together we might come up with something like, “Lord, change the way I judge or condemn people that I encounter in my day-to-day life. Help me to always seek peace and unity in all that I do.”
The Gospel writers use various literary devises to force a statement about our way of following Jesus and God’s law. James’ call to perseverance in spite of hardship: Job, for example, is up against the Gospel’s call to “stick it out” since God created us to seek unity – e.g. community and be one with another. The Pharisees, standing in for us, are looking for an easy out. There is no easy out. I know of a couple both of whom were in either their second of third marriage but, by some quirk in the manner of the previous marriages they were free to be married in the Church. To other couples struggling in their own marriages this didn’t seem fair. Why did that couple get to slip through a loophole while others have to suffer pain in a marriage that isn’t good for either of them? Bottom Line: the Lord doesn’t call us to be successful. He just calls us to be faithful. We’re in the process of integration. We are striving towards that unity that is the Holy Trinity. We’re not called to act as judge or condemn or curse. Love is patient, kind, gentle, long suffering (Gal 5:23 ff.) Nobody said it would be easy to follow Jesus all the way to the cross in order to get to the resurrection. Consecrate us in your truth, O, God. Amen!