Tuesday, October 24, 2006

29th Tuesday in Ordinary Time (II)
Readiness, Recognition & Response

Readings: Ephesians 2:12-22; Psalm 85:9ab-10, 11-12, 13-14; Luke 12:35-38

(Christ) is the peace between us, and has made the two into one and broken down the barrier which used to keep them apart…

These words from the letter to the Ephesians refer, of course, to the relationship between Jewish and Gentile Christians. Through the blood of Christ, the barrier which used to keep them apart – that is, the Law – has been broken down. In Christ, unity has replaced division. In Christ, hostility has been put to death and peace has triumphed.

As we listen to these words can we not help but think of the conflict and division that continues in our world today? Not just international and national conflicts but also communal, familial and personal discord. Not just the divisions that are thrashed out with guns and bombs, but also those that are expressed in a snide remark or a cold shoulder. And can we not but be saddened by how even the names of God and of Christ can become instruments of hostility instead of peace?

But where is Christ in all this? In every situation of conflict – when we find ourselves and others immersed in this world, without hope and without God – does the Lord not continue to speak peace to his people?

As Christians, we cling to the belief that Christ will return, not just at the end of the world, but at each moment in time. The question we have to ask ourselves is whether we are ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks. Whether we are alert enough to recognize the often different and highly creative ways in which opportunities for peace are placed in our path. To do this, we need continually to keep our lamps lit. In faithfully bringing our daily preoccupations, our deepest hopes and fears, to God in prayer, in allowing the light of the gospel gradually to illumine every corner of our heart, might we not become more familiar with Christ? Might we not allow Him to become the main corner stone of our lives? Might we not be helped to better recognize and open the door to Him when he comes?

Indeed, the Lord speaks peace to his people. Today we pray for the grace to better recognize and respond to it…

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