Monday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind.”
“Glad tidings,” “liberty,” “sight to the blind,” – these are God’s gifts not only to the people of Jesus’ time but very much so to our time also!
The real glad tidings and liberty today, like sight for the blind, has to do with overcoming anxiety. Living in the immediacy of the age that we do, it is difficult not to be anxious as we hear of so many things happening in our own locales and everywhere in the world. Unlike our ancestors who heard about things sometime after they happened, when there was time to catch up, as it were, between the event and our knowing about it. Not so today!
What this means for Christian disciples is that if they are determined to cultivate peaceful hearts, they must rely, as did our Blessed Savior, on the Holy Spirit, to keep them attuned to God in prayer, reflection on God’s goodness and love and on the eventuality of one’s own death and the end of time when Jesus returns.
This stance will help us with anxiety, not only by our prayer, as crucial as it is for the Christian but also by our welcoming the charity of Christ as leaven for our hearts. We take in this leaven especially when we participate in the Holy Eucharist at Mass and then we live this communion with Jesus in whom is true charity for our lives. We can hear this in the prayer the Church prays before the dismissal of today’s Mass:
Renewed by this bread from the heavenly table,
we beseech you, Lord,
that, being the food of charity,
it may confirm our hearts
and stir us to serve you in our neighbor.
Reflection by Fr. Xavier Nacke, OSB