Our Heart’s Content

Our Heart’s Content

June 28, 2018

Memorial of Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr

The Gospel Today
Matthew 7:21-29

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day,
‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name?
Did we not drive out demons in your name?
Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’
Then I will declare to them solemnly,
‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

When Jesus finished these words,
the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority,
and not as their scribes.

Reflection (Sem. Rodel DO. Aclan)

The special attention and respect given to me by people because I am a seminarian is a tempting occasion to be engulfed by the comfort and entitlement they provide. I remember the times that I would lead a small group for Bible or prayer meeting, they were astounded with my words and they would lavish me with good words and praise, saying they were touched or moved by my sharing. On one hand, it is good, but, for me, this question must be answered: Am I happier with the praises given to me than with the Word of God proclaimed and received by the people? Perhaps, this is one of the pitfalls of those who follow Christ, especially the leaders. Their attention becomes more focused on themselves rather than on Jesus. Sometimes, it turns out that we ourselves are not converted to Jesus with our own proclamation of Him.

Jesus warns us, especially those who call Jesus as their master and Lord. Our emotional and frequent mentioning of His name will mean nothing if there is no authentic conversion at all.

We have to bear in mind that what converts people to Jesus is not primarily our ability to proclaim and preach Him or do miracles in His Name. We are only instruments of conversion and we are not the primary agent of it.

St.Irenaeus of Lyons whose memorial we celebrate today was an outstanding theologian. He did not allow his immense knowledge to take away his focus on Christ. He devoted his intelligence in proclaiming the truth about Jesus against the Gnostics. Thus, he prevented the spread of their errors.
Jesus wants to make it clear that we cannot deceive Him. Yes, we might be able to deceive people into believing that we are pious and God- fearing, but there is nothing that we can hide from Him. He knows our heart’s content.

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