14 August 2016

Help Him Set the World on Fire!

NB. My surgeon has ordered me to stop taking all anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, Aleve, etc.) a week before the surgery. I'm finding it difficult to stand for too long. . .so, a short homily this week.

NB 2.0. My surgeon's father, Pete Finney, Sr. died over the weekend. Please keep him in prayer.  

Audio File

20th Sunday OT
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP

Are you ready, willing, and able to help Christ set fire to the world?If you have entered his birth, death, and resurrection through baptism, then you are indeed able to help him. You have been made ready in the waters of baptism to stand before the world and bear witness to the power of the Father's mercy. But being ready and able is not the same as being willing. You have to want to set the world on fire with Christ. You have to want to stand out there and bear up under the questions, the ridicule, the temptations, the applause, whatever else the Enemy might send your way to break your will. If it's You out there, just You and your determination, just You and your will out there trying to bear up under what comes with living the Good News, then you bought failure before you left the house. You can stack the rules and rituals all around you. You can build up a tidy fort of logical arguments and historical data. You can dig a deep and wide moat of separation between yourself and the world. BUT if you want to help Christ set fire to the world with your witness, then you must first live as Christ lived. AND die to self as he did. . .for others.

Being ready, willing, and able to help Christ with his mission and ministry is just the beginning of our lives with him. Being followers of Christ does not make us immune to the same traps and errors that await men and women of other faiths or no faith at all. The author of Hebrews writes to admonish us, “. . .let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus. . .” As we step out into the world to bring the world the Good News, we can be lured into a dangerous self-righteousness that slowly twists our hearts and minds back in on themselves and leads us to believe that we are the source of our goodness and strength. That I am the rock upon whom my faith is built. That I am the one who's setting the world ablaze with my zeal. Self-righteousness hides the burden of sin. And it prevents us from doing the work we have vowed to do. If I cannot surrender myself to Christ – sins and all – then I cannot be a faithful witness to the mercy he purchased for me. I cannot testify to having been made free. Without our freedom in Christ, without being a slave to Christ, we can only work for ourselves and our homemade righteousness. 

If you are willing to help Christ set fire to the world, then surrender yourself – body, soul, heart, and mind – to the mercy he freely gives you. Once freed from your burden of sin, you are free to tell the truth. And nothing burns the darkness of this world like the truth. Keep your eyes fixed on Christ so that you never move from the Way he has shown you. Nothing that Enemy can throw at you can move you. . .unless you want to be moved. So, make your witness, your testimony so much a part of your daily living that to be moved away from Christ means being moved away from everything and everyone you love. And when you are tempted or confronted or ridiculed “consider how [Christ] endured such opposition from sinners, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.” Jesus asks his disciples, “Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?” His answer shocks us, “No, I tell you, but rather division.” He comes to divide us from our sin, from our self-righteousness, from our attachments to this world. He comes to divide us one from other in the world so that our unity might be rooted in him. Help him to set fire to whatever stands btw you and his peace.

Follow HancAquam or Subscribe ----->

No comments:

Post a Comment