God has called us... the way we live each day is our answer
Reflections on the readings for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 26, 2020): 1 KGS 3:5,7-12; PS 119:57,72,76-77,127-128,129-130; ROM 8:28-30; MT 13:44-52
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
In the readings for this Sunday from both the Old and New Testament, we hear about things that are of great value. But Scripture makes it clear that we are not looking at what is prized in the usual way of human thinking. Rather, the readings reveal gifts from God that connect us with Him. What we should consider truly valuable is whatever builds up our relationship with Him and, through Him, with other people. Wisdom, the Commandments, and, most particularly, the kingdom of heaven – these are all important, but they have no meaning to us unless we recognize how precious they are and strive to make them integral parts of our lives. In St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, we hear his concerns about the way we approach our Christian life. “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose. For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He might be the firstborn among many” (Romans 8:28-29).
Almighty God wants each and every person He ever created to be glorified. He wants to gather us all to Himself to enjoy everlasting life. That is the destiny for which He made us. He wants us to let Him transform us into the image of His Son as closely as possible here on earth so that we will be ready to join the Holy Trinity, one God, in heaven. However, we need to respond to His design for us by cooperating with our own free will. The more we focus on ourselves, on our own wants and desires, the less we are like our Redeemer. He willingly suffered and died so that we might live. The more we open ourselves – body and soul – to His goodness, mercy and love, the more the image of the Son of God, our Lord and our truest friend, is imprinted within our very beings.