Thursday, June 29, 2017

The saying goes: “Hindsight is 20/20.” We cannot see the future as well as we can the past. Abraham here is going on trust alone as God Himself passes through the animals which have been torn asunder. (Click the Link/Image to read more)

Memorial of Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr
Lectionary: 373
GN 15:1-12, 17-18
PS 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
MT 7:15-20

The saying goes: “Hindsight is 20/20.”  We cannot see the future as well as we can the past.   Abraham here is going on trust alone as God Himself passes through the animals which have been torn asunder.   The symbolism of this primitive ritual is rife with imagery but I think most telling is that God is the only one involved in the Covenant at this point.   It is not because Abraham has performed anything other than believing.   It is his faith that is credited to him as righteousness.   The covenant is a free gift given to mankind by a God who loved them so much that He would rather be torn asunder, like the sacrificed animals, before going back on His word.   That is because God is the truth.   He cannot go back on His word any more than light itself can be darkness or warmth can be cold.

Abraham’s faith was on God’s words but without the ability to see the future.   Unlike God, who is outside of time itself, we cannot see tomorrow or the next day.   We can only guess and hope that the things we imagine will come to fruition.   That doesn’t mean that we can simply go through life not working for those things which we want to achieve.   We must become the change we want to see in the world.  Like Abraham, we must not only rest in God’s presence as God does the work but also set out on the journey as God directs.   It is in the journey that we come to know not only ourselves but see glimpses of God in creation in each other.

How then do we know who to listen to?   Who has the right “message”?   Which person has the Gospel that is the truth?  By their words and their works.   Many will tell you that you do not need to “do anything” to be a Christian.   Jesus reminds us time and again that yes, we are saved by Grace and Grace alone, but we must work!  “Since it belongs to the supernatural order, grace escapes our experience and cannot be known except by faith. We cannot, therefore, rely on our feelings or our works to conclude that we are justified and saved. However, according to the Lord's words "Thus you will know them by their fruits."  (CCC 2005)

That is how we know those who speak the truth, by how they exhibit it in their lives.   That doesn’t mean we have to be perfect, though we should be striving to be better day by day.  What it does mean is how we respond to our failures.   Do we respond by being despondent and depressed?  Or coming to Christ in the Sacraments and offering our lives back to Him again and again?   Conversion can mean a mountain top moment.   You know, those moments when your life turns inside out and change happens because of some spiritual awakening from God’s grace.   The thing is Conversion is not just a one-time thing, but something we must do every single second of every single day.

I saw someone who was offended the other day when someone: said “I’ll pray for your conversion.”  I would be happy if each of you would pray for mine, continually.    I don’t want to stop being more like Christ, because I have not arrived.   I need to grow each and every day, using the means of grace that He established through the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the authority He set upon His Church.   It is precisely because I cannot see that future, and often have not learned enough from the past, that I need prayers.   It is only through His grace that I can ever give the kind of fruit that I need to give in order that others will know me as one of His.

His servant and yours,
Brian Mullins

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my rock, and my redeemer. - Psalm 19:14