THE WORD BECAME FLESH
Monday of Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time, 2021
Dear friends in Christ, the idea of being a fellow worker with God is perhaps very strange, but Paul tells us, this is what our call in Christ entails. To be ‘working together’ means to agree on what we have to do and be working in sync. This requires that each of the partners do not look at taking advantage of the other.
In the first reading of today (2 Cor 6:1-10) Paul tells us that it is important to make good use of the grace of God in our lives. “Brethren: working together with Christ, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain.” Grace according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “…is favour, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call…A participation in the life of God. It introduces us into the intimacy of Trinitarian life: By Baptism, the Christian participates in the grace of Christ, the Head of his Body.” (CCC. 1996-1997) The baptised is made one with Christ by the grace that the sacrament bestows. He is therefore expected to live as a child of God and a member of the Church. That means his efforts must be in line with his vocation. To work at variance with the Church and God means a rejection of that grace which amounts to vain glory. Paul therefore says that those who are led by grace do not put obstacles in the way of the salvation of others. Instead, those who walk in grace welcome delightfully the sufferings that may come with their call in Christ. “We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God, we commend ourselves in every way…” We are all called to give of our time, talents and treasure as fellow workers with God for the salvation of the world.
In today’s gospel passage (Matthew 5:38-42) Jesus continues his teaching on the commandments calling his disciples to go beyond the letters of the law. ‘Tit for tat’ looks very reasonable to the ordinary mind. This on a deeper thought only leads to a vicious spiral of violence. There is nothing extra-ordinary in our behaviour if all we want to do is retaliate for whatever wrong we experience from the other. It is only through reconciliation we can bring about peace and stop the violence in the world. ‘Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.’ We have a duty to work with God to bring about that peace that we all desire for ourselves, our families and our nation. If all we do however is to slap and retaliate, we will not be walking in the path of that peace.
Let us pray: O God, the violence in our world brings pain to us all. Give us the grace to walk and work with you to achieve the peace that we desire and long for. Amen.