WEDNESDAY, TWENTY FIFTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Ezr 9: 5-9; Tob 13: 1-4, 6, 8; Lk 9: 1-6
TRANSFORMED AND BUILT UP AS LIVING STONES
St Teresa of Avila, in her spiritual masterpiece, Interior Castle, speaks of the soul as a spiritual castle, and the one who dwells in it is the Lord Almighty. In spirituality, faith always has two dimensions: the material manifestation of faith, and the spiritual. Abraham encountered God first; the shrine and the altars came later. Moses experienced the presence of God; only then came the building of the Tent of Meeting. Faith in God was engrained in Solomon thanks to his God-fearing father David; the building of the Jerusalem temple happened afterwards.
In today’s gospel, Jesus sends his disciples, to complete the primary task: to scatter the seeds of faith. He wanted them to proclaim the kingdom of God, and to attest to the same with signs and miracles. He even tests their faith, when he demands that they carry nothing for their journey. The same would be the experience of many a consecrated religious who have set out on a missionary journey to give witness to Christ in foreign lands. Once they plant in people’s hearts the imperishable seed of faith, and eventually water and nurture it (cf. 1Cor 3:6), it is then that they get into the material manifestations of the same. Because of their lack of faith, even though the Israelites were, for a while, punished with enslavement, God doesn’t abandon them. He entrusts them again with the task of building his temple, for he saw the revival of their faith, thanks to their leaders.
In our lives, we have to support the church’s material needs and fight at its side in its spiritual warfare. It could be as small as being sincere with your Sunday collection offering, or spending time conversing with the pastor, or praying a decade of the rosary for the church leaders, for the parish priest, for seminarians. These are all manners in which we contribute to the growth of the church. Remember, nothing is small in God’s sight, when done with great love (cf. Lk 21:4).
Response: Blessed is God who lives for ever.
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