We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister?
For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.” So then, each of us will be accountable to God.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today’s reading reminds us that God has made us for himself. In the final analysis, our being with him, individually and communally, is all that matters. Everything else in our lives ought to serve this purpose, so that “whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” Ignatius begins the Spiritual Exercises with this same reminder in the First Principle and Foundation: “God created human beings to praise, reverence, and serve God, and by doing this, to save their souls.” Everything on Earth should be used to bring us closer to the Lord. In the Gospel, too, Jesus invites us to be with him: the sheep doesn’t walk behind him back home, but is placed on his shoulders, with tenderness and care (Lk 15:1-10).
How is God inviting you to closeness today? What gets in the way? Ask for the grace to know these things, and to bring them to prayer.
O God, what will you do to conquer the fearful hardness of our hearts? Lord, you must give us new hearts, tender hearts, sensitive hearts, to replace hearts that are made of marble and of bronze. You must give us your own Heart, Jesus. Come, lovable Heart of Jesus. Place your Heart deep in the center of our hearts and enkindle in each heart a flame of love as strong, as great, as the sum of all the reasons that I have for loving you, my God. O holy Heart of Jesus, dwell hidden in my heart, so that I may live only in you and only for you, so that, in the end, I may live with you eternally in heaven. Amen.
—St. Claude La Colombière, SJPlease share the Good Word with your friends!