Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Today's readings: faith is not an experience or feeling, but an "obedience of the mind"

Today the Church celebrates : St. Rose Philippine, Feast of Basilicas of Sts. Peter & Paul

Book of Revelation 3,1-6.14-22.

"To the angel of the church in Sardis, write this: " 'The one who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars says this: "I know your works, that you have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Be watchful and strengthen what is left, which is going to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember then how you accepted and heard; keep it, and repent. If you are not watchful, I will come like a thief, and you will never know at what hour I will come upon you. However, you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; they will walk with me dressed in white, because they are worthy. " '"The victor will thus be dressed in white, and I will never erase his name from the book of life but will acknowledge his name in the presence of my Father and of his angels. " '"Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches."' "To the angel of the church in Laodicea, write this: " 'The Amen, the faithful and true witness, the source of God's creation, says this: "I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, 'I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,' and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich, and white garments to put on so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed, and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. " '"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, (then) I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me. I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne, as I myself first won the victory and sit with my Father on his throne. " '"Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'"

Psalms 15(14),2-3.3-4.5.

Whoever walks without blame, doing what is right, speaking truth from the heart;
Who does not slander a neighbor, does no harm to another, never defames a friend;
Who does not slander a neighbor, does no harm to another, never defames a friend;
Who disdains the wicked, but honors those who fear the LORD; Who keeps an oath despite the cost,
lends no money at interest, accepts no bribe against the innocent. III Whoever acts like this shall never be shaken.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 19,1-10.

He came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house." And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner." But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost."

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

Commentary of the day :

Blessed Jan van Ruusbroec (1293-1381), Canon Regular
A Mirror of eternal blessedness (©Classics of Western Spirituality)

"Today I must stay at your house"

Some people are very like Zacchaeus. They desire to see Jesus as he is. All power of reason and all natural light are too short and small for this, so they run ahead of all crowds and all the multiplicity of creatures. Through faith and love they climb up to the highest part of their mind, where their spirit lives in its freedom, devoid of images and obstacles. It is there that Jesus is seen, known, and loved in his divinity, for there he is always present to the free and exalted spirit which has risen above itself in love of him. Jesus there flows forth with a fullness of grace and favors.

But he says to all: "Come down quickly, for the exalted freedom of the spirit cannot be maintained except through lowly obedience of mind. You must know and love me as both God and a human being, higher than all and lower than all. You will savor me when I raise you up above all things and above yourself to myself, and when you lower yourself beneath all things and beneath yourself to me and for my sake. Then I will have to come to your house and remain living with you and in you, and you with me and in me."

When these persons know, taste, and feel this, they come down quickly in great disdain of themselves, and with a humble heart and true displeasure over their life and all their works they say: "Lord, I am not worthy-but am truly unworthy-that I should receive your glorious body in the blessed Sacrament into the sinful house of my body and soul. But be gracious to me, Lord, and have mercy on my poor life and all my transgressions."

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