Sun, 18 November 2018
Live worthily; live up to your high calling!
What is this calling? We are made in God's image and have been given power to change the world for a specific purpose: to heal the divisions among us and to raise all mankind up into the glory of God. The Gospel is that this has been made possible through the life, death, and resurrection of the God-man Jesus-Christ. But the Lord has entrusted us, to continue the work that He began. That is our calling, and St. Paul is reminding us that we need to work to be “worthy” of it.
This is not the way we usually talk, so let me put it another way:
The boss has given us a job to do and has given us the tools to do it. We need to commit ourselves to the work and to using the tools well.
Have you ever worked in a place where there were people who shirked? Where people didn't care about the quality of their work? What was that like? Did the work get done? What about them?
That's what it is like in our world. We have a job, we have tools, the question is – what kind of workers are we going to be?
St. Paul doesn't stop there. He tells us how to use the tools. Fantastic. He's got experience on the job and is giving us some advice. This is how it should be. Not all jobs are like that; some just make you figure it all out on your own. So what kind of advice does he give?
Be humble and be patient.
The goal is unity. We have been given power: why not wield it?! We know the right ways, why not impose them?! We want people to stop fighting, why not subdue and control them?
NO! Freedom. The unity must be voluntary. In the end, the kind of team built this way is much stronger than any other and because it is peaceful, it is able to bring peace. It conquers the nations not through force or coercion, but because it models the kind of life that others want and then invites them to share in it.
You can attain unity through threats, and you can attain unity through bribes. But that is a false unity.
God wants a unity of friends, united not by force, or place of birth, or kinship ties but by what he calls the bond of peace. Peace not as the absence of violence or disagreement, but as a positive force that keeps things together. It is the kind of peace that flows through things and strengthens them. It is the uniting energy that we often call love.
May God now strengthen us through His Body and Blood so that we can lead lives worthy of this calling.