Archive for November 13th, 2019

Matthew 2 – 4: Celebration of Self

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

In these early chapters of Matthew’s story of Jesus, we see the man who is Messiah respond to the voice crying in the desert; he bows to God’s call for baptism – and enters the Jordan to receive this sign of God’s blessing at the hands of his cousin John.  Then he confronts the Pharisees and the Sadducees, naming their addiction to power and corruption.

We go with Jesus into the desert where he fasts and meditates on the call he has received and which he also knows will lead to his personal suffering.  Jesus establishes the devil’s proper place, naming his lust for darkness and control.

Jesus withdraws into Capernaum, a place in which he grew up, a place he knows well.  Jesus begins to preach; and he begins to draw to himself the group of men and women who accompany him in his journey to Jerusalem and the cross.  He establishes the Kingdom, naming its source and purpose.

From today’s MAGNIFICAT Meditation by Fr. Maurice Zundel: A human being who barricades himself is an unhappy being; he suffers because he cannot be himself. 

Matthew offers us, in this opening of the Jesus story, a model for responding to God’s call and for putting sorrow and happiness into their proper balance.  He confronts, he names, he establishes.  He remains open to the outrageous possibility that all humankind might be saved and brought into light. He balances his actions with retreats, he keeps poises himself on the pivot point of his life . . . and he becomes who he is meant to be – the Messiah.

We are offered this same opportunity by God.  Each of us stands on the fulcrum of opposites that call us to our potential – for better or for worse.  We can choose to sink into despair and sorrow, or we can choose to rise in joy.  And we do this each day because the Christ who razes all mountains and fills all valleys makes this choice available to us through his own willingness to rise and obey.

Looking at this example, let us take down the barricades we have erected.  Let us move into our true selves and our true ministry.  Let us give thanks.  And let us be open to this celebration of self.

 Written on October 14, 2009 and published today as a Favorite.

Image from: http://isitthattime.com/tag/dad/

Cameron, Peter John. “Meditation for the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 10.14 (2009). Print.  

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