Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

(Ephesians 2:12-22; Luke 12:35-38)

We often hear Christ referred to as the "prince of peace," but the Letter to the Ephesians sounds quaint calling him "our peace." To help us understand what the letter means we can think of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." At the end of the drama, with both hero and heroine lying dead because of their families' mutual antagonism, the two opposing patriarchs vow to reconcile their differences. Christ similarly serves as the impetus to peace among all nations.

As a human, Christ models all that is virtuous so that every considerate person will naturally feel contrite to hear how human folly caused his death. As God, Christ’s death frees us from the bondage that sin has imposed. Sin offends God, but it really hurts us. It estranges us from God’s love and even from one another’s support. Christ’s sacrifice of himself for our sake makes up for these shortcomings by renewing our relationship with God and with one another. We may think of having a brother doing a heroic feat after we messed up in an ordinary challenge. Associated with our brother, we no longer feel the shame of our own failure and spontaneously desire to act like him.

But we must not think that Christ’s victory means that all accomplishment comes without effort. No, we must especially avoid giving into temptation which can undermine the best of our intentions.