Monday, September 13, 2010

“Love God, serve God. Everything is in that.” - St. Clare of Assisi

I had the opportunity to write a few bulletin reflections for our parish. I decided to reprint them here. I've included the date and readings for the Sundays for which the originally appeared.

AUGUST 8, 2010 (Wisdom 18:6-9 – Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-12 – Luke 12:32-48)

As we reflect on today’s readings they can be best summed up in this famous quote by St. Clare whose feast day is celebrated later this week on Aug. 11th. We are called to love and serve God faithfully and at all times. While the writer of Hebrews recalls the faithfulness of the Old Testament saints; Jesus warns us that we do not know the day or hour of his return. My grandfather used to say that “the world ends everyday for someone.” In other words, time is short so make the best of it while we have it.

In every age there are those who are consumed with trying to decipher the End Times, to predict when Jesus will return. Not too long ago the Left Behind series of novels topped the lists of best sellers with fictional accounts of the Rapture and the return of Jesus. It can be tempting to try to read the signs of the times, especially when there are natural disasters, wars, political upheaval or economic uncertainty. If we listen to the words of Jesus, his concern is not in teaching us to figure out when he’s returning, but rather to know that he’s returning at a time least expected. His concern is that we live our lives everyday serving and loving God and our neighbors.

St. Clare left her family and possessions behind to follow the call of God just like the heroes of the Old Testament listed in Hebrews 11. She took literally the words of today’s gospel: “Do not be afraid any longer little flock…Sell your belongings and give alms…For where your treasure is, there your heart will be.” Like so many other saints, Clare heard the words of the Gospel not merely as words addressed to the Church, but as intended for her personally. What is it that Jesus is calling you to do today? Is it something you already know in your heart but have been putting off? Hear the Gospel in a fresh way and respond today to the Spirit’s prompting in your heart for we are called to act now and not delay.

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