I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him.” Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him. - Jn 8:21-30
"And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." The lifting up of Jesus on the cross signifies and announces his lifting up by his Ascension into heaven, and indeed begins it. Jesus Christ, the one priest of the new and eternal Covenant, "entered, not into a sanctuary made by human hands. . . but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf." There Christ permanently exercises his priesthood, for he "always lives to make intercession" for "those who draw near to God through him". As "high priest of the good things to come" he is the center and the principal actor of the liturgy that honors the Father in heaven. (CCC 662)
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes. - Psalm 118, 22
"For a Christian, believing in God cannot
be separated from believing in the One he sent, his 'beloved Son', in
whom the Father is 'well pleased'; God tells us to listen to him. The
Lord himself said to his disciples: 'Believe in God, believe also in
me.' We can believe in Jesus Christ because he is himself God, the Word
made flesh: 'No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom
of the Father, he has made him known.' Because he 'has seen the
Father', Jesus Christ is the only one who knows him and can reveal him." (CCC 151)
The Gospel story of the rich man's plea for water as he gazes longingly upon Lazarus who rests in the bosom of Abraham is a warning, but not against riches. The failing of the rich man was that he did not live his blessings with a view to the waters that never cease to flow: those which come from God alone.
Whether rich or poor, we live as trees planted beside flowing waters when our actions are rooted Eucharistically in the love of Jesus Christ, a giving and fraternal love for others and God. The rich man refused to share his bounty with Lazarus despite his knowledge that the poor man needed food.
No matter in what season of life we find ourselves, old or young, rich or poor, it is not what we have that determines life but how we live with what we have.
"I, the LORD, alone probe the mind
and test the heart,
To reward everyone according to his ways,
according to the merit of his deeds."
The Lord invites us to share in His love by deeds. When our actions flow from the Eucharist they always have God's love as source, that "fountain welling up to eternal life".
"Sins can be
distinguished according to their objects, as can every human act; or
according to the virtues they oppose, by excess or defect; or according
to the commandments they violate. They can also be classed according to
whether they concern God, neighbor, or oneself; they can be divided into
spiritual and carnal sins, or again as sins in thought, word, deed, or
omission. The root of sin is in the heart of man, in his free will,
according to the teaching of the Lord: 'For out of the heart come evil
thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander.
These are what defile a man.' But in the heart also resides charity, the
source of the good and pure works, which sin wounds." (CCC 1853)
But there is more. Jesus links faith in
the resurrection to his own person: "I am the Resurrection and the
life." It is Jesus himself who on the last day will raise up those who
have believed in him, who have eaten his body and drunk his blood.
Already now in this present life he gives a sign and pledge of this by
restoring some of the dead to life, announcing thereby his own
Resurrection, though it was to be of another order. He speaks of this
unique event as the "sign of Jonah," the sign of the temple: he
announces that he will be put to death but rise thereafter on the third
"Choose life, then,
that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God,
heeding his voice, and holding fast to him.
For that will mean life for you,
a long life for you to live on the land that the LORD swore
he would give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Dt 30:15-20
The heart is the dwelling-place where I
am, where I live; according to the Semitic or Biblical expression, the
heart is the place "to which I withdraw." The heart is our hidden
center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others; only the Spirit of
God can fathom the human heart and know it fully. The heart is the
place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives. It is the place of
truth, where we choose life or death. It is the place of encounter,
because as image of God we live in relation: it is the place of
covenant. (CCC 2563)
MCITL 10th Anniversary: The Catechism and Scriptures together in the Sunday homily
"The integration of elements of the Catechism of the Catholic Church with the readings from the Lectionary offers us an opportunity to demonstrate how the Word of God is able to animate our personal and communal life with Christ and, at the same time, articulate the Church’s faith that has been immeasurably enriched by the living tradition of twenty centuries."-- Archbishop Donald Wuerl, intervention at the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God