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GOD COMMUNICATES THROUGH HUMAN BEINGS

Father Francis's picture
Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

2 Kings 2:1, 6-14 & Mt. 6:1-6, 16-18

Elijah was an important figure in the Old Testament. He was regarded as the greatest of God’s prophets. He was a representative of God who spoke and acted in His name. In fact, until the time of Christ, God dealt chiefly with His people through prophets. And so when Elijah died, God saw to it that his place was taken by Elisha.

God can act in any way He chooses, but for the most part He still wishes to communicate His truth and love through human beings. We see this happening at Mass. When you look at the altar you see a man, human like yourself, whom God has called to be His priest. The priest consecrates the Eucharist and makes our worship possible through the power given him at his Ordination. But there is more.

You should also see that God is acting through the person who proclaims His word in the reading and through the extraordinary minister who gives you Holy Communion. Notice especially that receiving Holy Communion, God's great gift of Himself to us through His Son, always involves another person, be it the bishop, priest, deacon or extraordinary minister.

What God does for you through others at Mass, He wishes you to do for others outside Mass. We are all to be the instruments by which His truth and love are proclaimed. This is because, as a matter of fact, we have been constituted to be prophets to give witness to God, by means of our Baptism. Our whole role will not be as dramatic as that of Elijah, or Elisha, but it as just as valuable.

None of us should think we are unimportant, no matter how hidden or simple our roles may be in modern life. Jesus is present within us to guide us and to accomplish the good that it is possible for us to achieve as the modern prophets of His truth and goodness.

But in living our Christianity, Jesus does not want us to play to an audience. We should not have the motive of drawing people to ourselves who admire and applaud the good we do. The Christian life is not an on-stage performance.

Jesus gives three examples of Christian acts upon which we should not shine the light of publicity. They are giving alms, praying and fasting. These examples are meant to bring home the point that we should not be doing anything to seek the attention and admiration of other people. When we give or pray or fast, they should be done quietly and unostentatiously. If we trumpet the good we do before the gaze of others, and look for their praise and admiration, we may have our reward in this world but, in Jesus' words, we shall forgo it in the next. The praise in most cases, anyway, will only be self-praise for people generally do not like those who brag, about their own achievements or good works.

Lord Jesus, let us be quiet and effective witnesses by proclaiming You to our world, and then we shall be certain that Your Father will reward us in the next life.

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