Our second reading for this weekend is taken from the end of the eighth chapter of Paul’s magnificent letter to the Romans. In this great book of the Bible, we learn that in Christ, God has disclosed his providential plan whereby he intends to reconcile all things to himself. I don’t know about you, but those words always give me comfort and peace.
The Gospel for this Sunday is taken from the 13th Chapter of the Gospel of Matthew and it features three marvelous parables of Jesus. How rich are these parables! How inexhaustible in meaning! Take some time to read and contemplate these parables in light of your own suffering and faith as we seek together the Kingdom of God.
God sows his Word into each of our hearts liberally. He does not solely give his grace to those he knows will bear fruit. He sows the Word in everyone, but it doesn't flourish for each person due to circumstances (secularism, anxiety, the allurement of the world), but strive to counter that by letting the Word open you to the implications of his Lordship. God is always giving himself to you, listen and act.
What is it like to have Christ for a king? All three of this Sunday's readings examine this very question in some way. The answer is to submit to his kingship and accept his yoke upon your shoulders to make your life an offering to his plan.
In our second reading for this week, St. Paul reminds the Christian community in Rome that baptism means an immersion into the dying of the Lord. In his first letter to the Corinthians, he had similarly told his followers that every eucharist is a participation in the dying of Christ. Why this preoccupation with death? Because it is only through this journey into Christ's death and resurrection that we can effectively conquer the fear of death, which tends to cramp us spiritually. Once we have died witih Jesus, we can walk "in newness of life."
As we return to the regular cycle of readings in Ordinary Time, we meet with a bracing spiritual teaching from the Lord Jesus. No matter who is threatening you, who is thundering denunciation, who is coming at you with furious intensity: don’t be afraid! Why? Because in Jesus Christ, you are connected to the very power of God, to that which is here and now creating the universe.
This Sunday the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, Corpus Christi in Latin. This feast displays the distinctiveness of Christian religion amongst all the other religions, philosophies, and world views. No other group of people is called upon to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the person they admire. Christianity is the strangest way precisely because we are given this distinct access into the Divine Life.
On Trinity Sunday we contemplate the mystery of God as a play of persons. The Father gives rise to the Son while the Father and Son give rise to the Holy Spirit. God's unity is never compromised because the three are consubstantial, one in being. To begin to consider this mystery we must consider that love is what God is.
If you want the Holy Spirit, you have to declare the Lordship of Jesus. Love is precisely what the Holy Spirit is. Do you want life? Do you want meaning, purpose, the satisfaction of your deepest longing? Then be close to Jesus as he breathes out love. You will have what your heart is searching for.
This Sunday we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord, perhaps one of the most misunderstood elements within the Christian narrative. The Ascension does not mean Jesus goes "up, up, and away" as if his presence leaves earth, but rather that he assumes the throne of heaven so as to direct matters here on earth.