24 November 2022

Become perfect Love

St. Ignatius Delgado OP & Companions

Fr. Philip Neri Powell OP

St Albert the Great, Irving

God owes you nothing. He owes me nothing. He created us and then re-created us in Christ Jesus. Though He owes us nothing, He gives us everything. We were freely made and freely re-made. Everything we have and everything we are is a gift. From the brute fact of our existence as male and female to the complexities of our personalities, we are wholly gratuitous creatures solely dependent on the Father's “plan of sheer goodness”(CCC 1). Understanding and receiving this foundational truth about the nature of reality is called humility. We are dust and divine love given flesh and bone. How we choose in our freedom to respond to this truth, this humility determines how we will live minute to minute until we die. If we choose to live as though we can save ourselves, making idols of ourselves, loving ourselves w/o God, then we will become what we love – merely temporary, passing things that endure in eternal bitterness and regret. If, however, we choose to live in a permanent state of praise and thanksgiving to God, loving ourselves and others b/c He loved us first, then we will become what we love – immortal men and women, abiding in perfect unity with Love Himself. We will become Love perfectly.

The Grateful Samaritan is healed. Along with nine Jews, his body is made well again. The GS returns to give Christ thanks and praise for his healing. Now, his soul is healed as well, his whole person is made new again. The nine Jews do not return to thank Christ. Why? We don't know. Maybe they took their healing as payment for a perceived debt. Maybe they thought they were entitled to the gift. Could be that they were too overwhelmed with joy to consider giving thanks. Whatever the reason, they did not choose to submit themselves in humility before their Healer and give him thanks. Jesus says us nothing about their fate. To the GS he says, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” Your trust in God has saved you, healed you, brought you back into the household of the Father. Ask yourself: am I the GS, or am I among the ungrateful nine? God doesn't need our gratitude. He doesn't need our praise. We need to give Him thanks and praise simply b/c doing so is our confession of what's Real: we are gratuitous creatures growing in holiness, beings being perfected in the sacrificial love of Christ. 

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