Saturday, September 19, 2009

25th Sunday: "The greatest serves the rest."

Wisdom 2, 12. 17-20; Psalm 54:3-5, 6-8; James 3, 16 - 4, 3; St. Mark 9, 30-37

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The way in which a people welcomes the least among them determines their own goodness.

When the Apostles, giving in to pride, begin to argue among themselves as to who among them is the greatest, the Lord calls a child into their midst and thus begins to teach them the contradiction of the Christian life: "If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all." Every one who would be saved must welcome and love the smallest unborn child, the least of the poor, the abandoned, the rejected.

This humility and selflessness is a necessity of life in Christ because authentic charity will never fail to inspire it. One cannot love others in the proper way unless one is first prepared to disregard oneself enough to care for and love others by serving them before one serves oneself, by seeing to others' needs before one seeks to satisfy ones' own needs.

Charity is evidence of the indwelling of God himself in the person of the Holy Trinity, for "love has been poured forth into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."

Christ died out of love for us, while we were still"enemies." (Rom 5:10) The Lord asks us to love as he does, even our enemies, to make ourselves the neighbor of those farthest away, and to love children and the poor as Christ himself. (Cf. Mt 5:44; Lk 10:27-37; Mk 9:37; Mt 25:40, 45)

The Apostle Paul has given an incomparable depiction of charity: "charity is patient and kind, charity is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Charity does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Charity bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (1`Cor 13:4-7) (CCC 1825)

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy" -Fr. Cusick

(See also paragraphs 474 and 557 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.)

Meeting Christ in the Liturgy (Publish with permission.)

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