Posted by: livingscripture | November 5, 2010

Thirty First Friday of Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. 

     Philippians 3: 18 

How should we live this Word 

This passage reveals all Paul’s tenderness.  The Church he founded at Philippi is threatened by the theories sustained by some Hebrews who gave importance to norms relative to food and circumcision, thus rendering vain Christ’s cross. 

Behind Paul’s harsh expressions, ‘their God is their stomach…enemies of the cross of Christ…’is the image of a religiosity preoccupied with guaranteeing salvation through the scrupulous observance of exterior practices.  Jesus pronounced Himself against this, reminding His listeners about the priority of interiority.  The risk was to move the emphasis from salvation received as a gift to a salvation guaranteed by one’s works.  It is the never silenced temptation of Eden to substitute oneself for God, making ourselves the protagonists of our redemption.  It is wanting to become God’s creditors rather than His debtors.  In this kind of a religiosity, Christ’s cross is deprived of any meaning, truly foolishness for the pagans and a scandal to the Jews. 

This as true today as it was then.  In fact, the danger still exists of giving into the seduction of a justice that is a pharisaical exaltation of self.  I am not like the others.  I am observant.  I do not steal, I pray. God has to consider this!       

 Today as I pause for silent contemplation I will examine the depths of my heart to remove the subtle temptation to live the practice of religion, not as the reception of a gift and a response of love, but as a gratification of my need to feel I am in place. 

O Cross of Christ, the only source of salvation, grant that my glance may be ever fixed on You with humility and gratitude. 

The voice of Edith Stein, a saintly contemplative and philosopher 

The eyes of the Crucified are fixed on you and are questioning you.  Do you want to renew the covenant with Him in all seriousness?  What will your answer be?  ‘Lord, where should I go?  You alone have the words of life.’

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