What keeps the Body alive?
Third Sunday Ordinary Time
January 23, 2022 •
If we are the body of Christ, then our job is to proclaim the Word from the wood of the cross. Because that's what the body does. Primarily, in this moment, whenever we suffer as Christians, as members of the Body of Christ, we are on that wooden cross - that wooden podium - proclaiming the Word of God to all who will see.
Our job is difficult because we have to do it the way Jesus did it. We're not our own body, we're His body. So when we suffer, we suffer patiently. Like He did. Lovingly. Doing it for the forgiveness of sins. ...
If you can make the connection between your suffering as a member of the Body, and Christ's particular suffering - if you can make that connection in the moment - what you'll find is you'll be able to receive the grace that is already present to you through the Holy Spirit, to suffer more like Christ. And if you do that, just like Ezra in the Old Testament and Jesus on the Cross, you will proclaim the law: both aspects - you break the law, justice demands punishment. But, the law of love means I will suffer for others' sins.
Does that mean you're only the Body of Christ when you're suffering? No, Jesus lived many years, and He was only on the Cross during the last moments of His life on earth. But you are the Body of Christ always. Which means you have to find your place in the body in whatever life you choose to live. Whatever vocation you embrace.
We know there are three primary vocations: the married life, the holy priesthood, and religious life - the consecrated life of men and women to Christ.
Father continues with a beautiful reflection on what part each vocation can play in the Body of Christ on earth.
I want you young men and women to seriously consider a vocation to the consecrated religious life. Saint Paul tells us in the Gospels that he invites all Christians to discern the religious life. I will tell you, in this day and age, it is an easier vocation. ... You'll suffer. Our Lord will challenge you to grow in holiness and intercede for others, if you become a religious and serve Him in this way. But you'll be more conformed to the heart of Christ and you'll experience the very piercings that He did while on the Cross. It's beautiful. So discern it. Pray about it. Look into different religious orders. The key is prayer. As long as you are praying every day, He will guide you to His will, whatever it may be. You can't hear the Lord if you're not praying. Parents, teach your children to pray.
Neh 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10; Ps 19:8-10, 15; 1 Cor 12:12-30; Lk 1:1-4, 4:14-21
Homily begins at 29:16