June 11, 2008
Saint Barnabas, apostle. Memorial
Matthew 5: 17-19
Jesus said to his disciples: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, you know my weak faith. I pray for the grace to believe like a child resting in his mother’s arms; to hope like a child trusting in his mother’s care; and to love unreservedly without conditions.
Petition: Lord, help me to accept your commandments. Help me to live not just the letter but also the spirit of each and every one of them.
1. God’s Map to Heaven We do not journey into an unknown future; life is a journey towards heaven and God has given us our own MapQuest: his commandments. They mark the road; they point us in the right direction to reach him. He has not abandoned us to our own luck. Eternal life does not depend on a lottery ticket: Christ our Lord has gained us eternal life through his redemptive sacrifice on the cross.
2. Travel in Good Company! St. Augustine reminds us that we cannot reach heaven alone; we must arrive there accompanied by many. Who are our traveling companions? Are those closest to us reliable company? Are they trustworthy in the Christian sense of the word? To bring others is to teach them the way, too. Do we know how to get there? Live each and every one of the commandments! Only then will we know that we are on the sure path to eternity.
3. Spiritual Spring Cleaning! Along life’s journey we may have accumulated some inappropriate attachments – collectibles that are weighing us down. They may seem insignificant, but just like the barnacles on a tortoise’s shell they obscure the image of Christ in our souls. We must eliminate any bad habits as we reach out to others to help them along the way, for the shadows of our own imperfections will cast clouds over our good intentions. Now is an opportunity to recognize that with God’s mercy and grace “nothing is impossible.”
Conversation with Christ: Thank you, Lord, for placing those signposts, your commandments, to show me the way and help me discover the narrow path that leads to you.
Resolution: Today make a thorough examination of conscience by reading all the commandments.
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