St. Paul wrote to the church at Rome words that speak to all the Church through the ages: "For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope."
It is to that concept, that the Word of God brings encouragement to the heart of those who will believe its message, this blog is devoted.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Not About Me*
*For from Him and through
Him and for Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen (Romans 11:36).
It's all about Jesus. Always
has been. Always will be.
It always should be.
I ought to think of that
before I start complaining about His business. Like the Mass, for example.
My wife and I had hardly left
the sanctuary one Sunday morning before I groused about the service. “I wish
we’d sing modern choruses instead of centuries-old hymns . . . I thought the
priest could have made a stronger point about that Gospel passage . . . I’d
like it better if we knelt for prayer . . . I wonder why . . ."
Then I noticed my emphasis: I
wish. I thought. I’d like. I
wonder. My problem became disturbingly clear: I think the Mass – even life, if
I’m honest – is all about me.
Well, it’s not. The Mass, and
all we do before and after we come into His presence is about the One through
whom all things were made ‑ heaven, earth, mountains, seas . . .It’s about Jesus, through whom I receive
reconciliation to the Father, forgiveness and redemption.
“For by Him all things were created,” wrote St. Paul, “both in
the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions
or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him and for
Him. . . And in Him you have been made complete . . . having been buried with
Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working
of God, who raised Him from the dead” (Colossians 1:16; 2:10-12 NASB).
I can't help but notice Scripture’s
emphasis: By Christ; through
Christ; for Christ; in Christ; with
Not a thing in there about me.
Perhaps if I entered the
Eucharistic Celebration centered more on Him and less on me, I wouldn’t be so
quick to grumble. If I cultivated a deeper relationship with Christ through the
week, I wouldn't be bored with that holy hour on Sunday. If I meditated on the
Mass readings before I left for church, the Holy Spirit might have more
kindling to spark my passion for the Mass.
If I entered the sanctuary early enough to pray, my heart would be ready to
worship long before the Celebration began.
When I focus on me, it's easy
to find fault with the priest, the choir, the temperature, the baby crying in
the back. When my focus is on Him – through whom all things were made – then
all things fall into proper perspective.