A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Testing... Testing...

Today’s readings present us with very challenging tests.

In the first reading (2 Corinthians 8:1-9) St. Paul writes of the “test of affliction” given to the church in Macedonia and the test of “the genuineness of your love” he sets before the Corinthians. In both cases, success in these tests is marked by generosity – generosity even in affliction and poverty.

These challenging tests are nothing, however, compared to those our Lord sets before his followers in today’s Gospel (Matthew 5:43-48):

Love your enemies...

Pray for those who persecute you....

(and the most challenging test of all)

Be perfect
as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Yeah, right,” some might sarcastically say, “Be as perfect as God. You bet.”

Indeed, when faced with extreme challenges, the natural reaction of many is not to try at all

But if we shrink from the tests to which God calls us, if we run away from the challenges of living the Christian life, then we will not only fall short of eternity’s prize, but we will diminish the life within us and slip just that much further away from the light and into the darkness.

On the other hand, if by the grace of God we step up to the Lord’s tests of fidelity and charity, even if we should stumble or seem to fall short, the Lord will always be at our side, pulling us up that we may attain the rich recompense that he prepares for us.

Lord Jesus Christ, son of the living God, be merciful to me - a sinner.