Saturday, February 12, 2011
Integrity of Faith, Love, of Heart
Homily (cyber-version) for the 6th Sunday of Ordinary Time;
Valentines Day is right around the corner. Setting the hyper-commercialism of the holiday aside we are reminded that this is the Feast Day of St. Valentine. He was a priest and martyr in the early church. He is the Patron St. of holy love. While imprisoned he was well known for his care and love of the imprisoned but also of his guards of which several he converted to follow the Christ. In his life he chose to follow with courage the high calling of our Lord to faith, love and integrity of heart.
Our readings today contain some of the most difficult and challenging in God 's Word to hear and follow. In many ways it would seem God calls us to the impossible. Yet, if we prayerfully heed the fullness of our readings we are brought to a realization that God calls us each, like St. Valentine to live a life following our Lord in the integrity of our faith, love and heart.
In the First Reading we are reminded that created in love by God who is Love, that we are given the freedom of choice..to follow God's Commands of Love or the ways of the enemy of our soul. We are called to choose who we are going to follow...and grow in integrity of faith, love and heart.
"Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord" echoes the refrain from our Psalm. This brings us to the second reading where St. Paul, in writing to the faithful in Corinth reminded them that "eye has not seen nor ear heard..what God has prepared for them that love Him".. It is with the Spirit of God that our FAITH is empowered to make the choices of life that will cause us to follow God's Word, His Commands to life and love for Him. God calls us to have a heart of faith that enables us to discern, with His help, the way of obedience and discovery of His will in our lives. It is the call to ever growing INTEGRITY, genuineness OF FAITH, that enable us to follow our Lord in the integrity His love.
In the Gospel reading Christ challenges us to that INTEGRITY OF LOVE. Called away from murderous, life destroying deeds Jesus raises the standard even higher to calls us away from life destroying anger and words, however subtle they may seem.
Calling lonely humanity from adultery He calls us to an even deeper integrity and quality of our very vision of life , of love for each other. Called away from seeing others as possessions to lust for, He calls us to the higher calling of relationships wherein we no longer lust for ..but have true love for each other in the deepest integrity of our heart.
Again in the Gospel Jesus speaks of the integrity of our choices..our promises. In speaking of oaths and vows He call His people to an even simpler, yet higher standard in that we are to affirm our choices of FAITH, Our LOVES from the integrity of our heart. The Psalmist prays.."give me discernment...that I may keep your law with all my heart". Jesus warns us not to make promises based upon things beyond our ability to control or change. He calls us to the highest INTEGRITY of our distinct HEART where from we follow His path for us with all the heart He created, with all the soul He created us each to be.
May God who created each of us, for who we are, and calls us each to follow Him help us know and do so with the fullest of integrity of Faith, of Love and Heart.