This week we have been challenged by the Scriptures to (in the words of St. Leo the Great) “surrender to Christ”. The Christian life is a process of conversion of mind and heart, focusing totally on Christ.
In this process, we also continue to do the work of Christ in the world. St. Paul this morning reminds us that we are to help one another in living the Gospel. We do so:
1. By the example of our own lives
2. By encouraging others
3. And when necessary lovingly challenging others.
The Gospel today calls upon us to recognize the opportunities that we will have today to serve Christ himself. This emphasizes the importance of what we do here at this moment as well as our individual daily prayer.
It is through our prayer, our hearing the scriptures, our prayer together as a family of faith and the reception of the Eucharist that our ears are tuned to the voice of the Lord, our eyes opened to see with the eyes of faith.
We are then able to recognize Christ in those we come across and in very simple ways, and perhaps bigger ways, show our love for Christ in our acts of charity and service.
These actions are not to make us feel good (although that may happen) or simply to create order (another possible side effect). They are the minimum expectation of the Christian and an extension of our prayer to God.