|Memorial of St. Pius X
Psalms 85:9, 11-12, 13-14
This is a very special time for my husband and me; today, we celebrate our thirtieth wedding anniversary! Long ago, as newlyweds, thirty years seemed like a very long way into the future. As seasoned spouses, thirty years certainly went by much more quickly than we had ever imagined. Our time together has been filled with many wonder-filled moments and celebrations of love, as well as times of struggle and/or self-doubt in the face of modern day challenges to family life. We discovered new ways to live, love and be with and for each other, as well as for others beyond our family. Recently we viewed home videos of the two newest members of the extended family, twin boys born to my nephew and his wife. Memories rushed in, filled with those precious beginnings of new life as each of our four children entered into our family's journey together. And now, we are preparing to take our youngest off to her first year of college.
This is the moment of now in which I read and reflect on today's scriptures.
As I read Matthew's gospel, I am overwhelmed, as are Jesus' followers, by the thought that, " . . . only with difficulty will a rich person enter into the kingdom of God . . . . It is easier for a camel to pass through a needle's eye (a low gate entrance in Jerusalem's wall) than for a rich person to enter into God's realm." Further on, it doesn't get any better: ". . . everyone who has given up home, brothers or sisters, father or mother, wife or children or property for my sake will receive many times as much and inherit everlasting life."
So . . . are my husband and I, and others (with or without children), as well as those with property and/or homes doomed to a bleak future regarding God's realm? Have we made the wrong choices in our life? That all depends on whether we are at peace with our choices . . . where is God's presence in our choices?
In today's first reading from Judges, Gideon is conversing with an angel of God who challenges Gideon to accept his calling to save his people from the Midianites. Gideon is in no hurry to heed God's call; he questions whether or not God is truly calling him. Gideon seeks a sign from God - a guarantee that this is truly a call from God. Finally, when Gideon is convinced that the messenger is in fact from God, he is assured by God: "Peace be to you; do not fear. You shall not die." And Gideon built an altar and named it, "Yahweh-shalom (God is peace)."
To what has God called each of us? How can we be sure that
we are answering God's call to be fully alive through our baptismal call,
to be a living presence of God in our daily lives? I am caught
by Jesus' response to his followers' question, "Who can be saved?"
Jesus replies, "For humans it is impossible; but for God, all things
are possible." The psalmist reminds us, "Our God speaks of peace
to all . . . God proclaims peace to those who are faithful, to those who
put their hope in God." Do we invite God into our ongoing discerning
of our call? Do we experience God's peace in our heart through the
way in which we live out our call? If the answer is 'yes,' I believe
that we are on our way to living into the realm of God.
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