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November 25, 2016

O stupid Galatians! [::chuckling::] Tell us how you really feel, Paul.

Yesterday we talked about – – – adoption and circumcision.  To adopt the Fatherhood of God and to be adopted into the Kingdom of Heaven in order to feed the world day after day through the Eucharist.  And Paul pointed out that God wants a circumcision, alright – a circumcision of the heart.  To cut out and excise those things that create barriers to even recognizing the Father at all.  That’s why Paul is so incredulous today: after yesterday’s momentous revelation between him and Peter, he is saying once you receive the Spirit, you no longer have to circumcise to show you are in the Covenant.  And the Galatians are like: OK! Now let’s get circumcised! Oy!

This week, we have also spoke of basic steps to following the model that is Christ Jesus.  To take up our yoke along with Jesus, to lighten our burdens. We learned from St. Francis’ example to embrace a spirit of poverty by relinquishing those things that take us further from God.  And to embrace humility; we take up that yoke, maybe knowing it’s difficult but necessary.  And I do not mean false humility, which is only disguised pride; but a willingness to step in and make the unpopular call, or take on the awful chore because it is the right thing.

So for today: Jesus tells us in his Gospel, be persistent!  “Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock and the door will be opened.”  The Lord emphatically teaches, you just got to ask!  You just got to seek.  You just got to knock.  You have to want the salvation he offers. You have to be resolute.  We will run into resistance out in the world, but also in ourselves – as in doing the right and just thing – doing what we ought to do, not just what we want to do.  If we are truthful with ourselves – how many times have we failed to speak up or come to someone’s aid out of fear of what people would think?

I saw a picture on Facebook the other day, like something out of Indiana Jones – or Shrek: it was one of those long, wood and rope bridges across a chasm – and the hiker was at the middle.  And the other side just disappeared into the fog.  And the caption was, “Good things are coming to you.  Just keep going.”  [Don’t look down!)  How many times have we caved in because the goal was too difficult or too lofty?  These are hard questions.  They are supposed to be.  Life is not practice.  It’s the race.  A race to the Kingdom of God.  If you do not reach salvation through maintaining your friendship with God, then surely you will by remaining persistent, and never giving up.

G.K. Chesterton  writes, “In the best Utopia, I must be prepared for the moral fall of any man in any position at any moment; especially for my fall from my position at this moment.”(Chesterton, Orthodoxy).  But we get up.  Persistence.

We can draw closer to God by following His Word – daily.  We assume the yoke is a negative, but it is the easier way; poverty, humility, adoption, circumcision, and persistence, these are a path to salvation.  Let us assist one another in love and friendship, and take as many with us as we can.


Love, Papa

October 6, 2016, Thursday, Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Galatians 3:1-5.  Did you receive the Spirit from works of the law, or from faith in what you heard?

Responsorial – Luke 1:68.  Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.

Luke 11:5-13.  Ask and you will receive.

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