Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The vice-rector in Santo Domingo Seminary said we were like the three angels that came to see Abraham and who announced the birth of Isaac when we went to visit them rather unexpectedly. He saw in us Christ and at an hour’s notice was very willing to open this house and show us a wonderful hospitality. He also said on Fridays the seminarians scrutinize or study the gospel passage. They are joined by some of the priests and men from the other two seminaries. They do this for a couple of hours and the Word becomes flesh, becomes alive, and speaks to them. Each one shares what God has told them. The Word of God is alive and responds to the situation of each person. It is a response of love, of insight, of forgiveness.
We can ask ourselves this question, do we receive Christ in this way? And we recognize him in the readings, in the preaching, especially in communion? Do we actively seek him and look for him at the Mass, or do we just sit back and become very passive?
We can react to this question in two different ways. One is yeah, I have Christ, he’s with me, he’s been there for a while. I go to church, I have a large family, etc. But somehow my life is the same, I gossip, I treat my spouse badly, I fall into the same sins all the time. The second way to respond is with an attitude of humility. I can say to the Lord, have I really looked for you today? Or have I been looking for other things? Are you just one thing, one person among many? It is true that I have not really found you recently.
It’s good that we see that our lives are passing. They’re limited, like a bottle of water that is sipped and eventually will run dry. It’s like the hourglass that at some point runs out. And what is our life about, does it just revolve around me and how things affect me, is it good for me, is it easy for me? Which is kind of a hell. Or I am beginning to learn to love the other. When I love and give myself, I have peace and joy. When I don’t love the other as myself, I am the most frustrated person, unless I have a few drinks or a few who-knows what.
Jesus speaks with such authority in the gospel. Imagine saying to the crowd in front of you: this reading is fulfilled today in me. Which means that I am the messiah. I came to help you to see to see, to set captives free, to bring good news to the poor. Who are the poor, ones with less than a million dollars? Or the ones who see their weaknesses, their inabilities, their sins? One could have 10 million dollars and be terribly poor, spiritually poor, empty inside.
We’re still in this time of epiphany where Christ is showing himself to us today in his first preaching, last week in his first miracle, a few weeks ago in the coming of the Kings. How amazing was their faith to make such a difficult trip to see a baby? He had not worked one miracle; he hadn’t spoken two words and somehow they knelt down before him to worship him and adore him.
Let us look for Christ in our dark moments, perhaps when we see our weakness or when our cross becomes too much. Who recognized Christ in the Passion? It was a Roman soldier, a centurion, who was a pagan and who said, this man was truly the Son of God.
Let us ask the Mary and Joseph, the saints, the Three King for this attitude of humility. We don’t need to have the last word. To be a peace even when things don’t go our way. To have the spirit of Christ. Let us ask for this, brothers and sisters.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,