Greetings on this the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: IS 22:19-23; PS 138:1-2, 2-3, 6, 8; ROM 11:33-36; MT 16:13-20
Ideal, Acceptable, Tolerated, Needful
Every year at this time we start a new journey. Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).
Everyone has a different starting point.
Everyone who wants to try the Christian journey comes with every virtue and it’s twin vice.
From now until the Rite of Acceptance, the first decision point, the hope for change is given primacy.
No judgement. No corrections. Just the Gospel message revealed in nature, oral tradition, sacred Scripture and, finally, in the practice of a faithful people.
We don’t present ourselves perfect, rather we engage the perfect and become like him.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
So much is written on this sentence. For me it isn’t the diametric of rewarding the good and punish the guilty.
The imperative is to bind up the wounds of the wounded and loosening those in bondage. And most of all, to loose none the Father has given.
Temporary Missionary Approach
Spontaneous acceptance of the Gospel is always preferred. Yet, continuous conversation is the reality most often. The enlightenment of the apostles is obvious in the presence of Jesus. Even after Pentecost, continued maturation and development.
We are mission territory even among the Baptized uncatechized.
In this period we study how the Promise is made, given and lived. The life of the historical Jesus is fulfillment of the promise and brings about a new promise.
In this period faith is incarnate. Faith is made palpable and relatable.
Binded and Loosened
Who among us are perfect in promise and action? Do you not recall the story of the ungrateful Servant? Forgiven a large debt, he cannot forgive the smaller debt of his contemporary.
Or are we like those who … Woe to you lawyers as well! For you weigh men down with burdens hard to bear, while you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers.
Rite of Elect
In this phase we learn of the Sacramental economy. The blessings to support us through our life journey. What, how, form/matter, who. Clarity on the specific blessings given to bind and loosen.
Here we practice the faith in great anticipation of the Easter Vigil and the reception of these Sacraments.
Even Now, Even Now
Even now we remain in the tension of the Ideal, Acceptable, Tolerated, and Needful.
Sometimes in one person, all four.
Here, empowered and strengthened in Sacraments is the promise of perfection as a consistent movement into the inner life of God.
Cast the Net
Catch every fish. Bind and loosen them. Which will be in the end to be lost is not our work. It is not our judgment.
It is only the judgment of the Divine and the work of the Angels.
Or do we mock St Paul who says, Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counselor?
Or who has given the Lord anything
that he may be repaid? For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be glory forever. Amen.
Go Forth, the Mass has Ended
Mass is the empowering event where the imperative is reenforced.
Be the embodiment of the Divine presence.
Peace be with you,