Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Readings of the day: RB 34 Fair Provision for the Needs of AllMass: Is 65:17-21; Resp Ps 30; Jn 4:43-54
In a recent conversion, I said something I didn’t believe, namely, ‘life is about mediocrity’. While the words came from my mouth, I suspect a dear friend and mentor of mine turned in his grave. He, who on more than one occasion proclaimed: ‘Benedictine life is about balance, not mediocrity!’ Now that I’ve come to my senses, I was pleased to find Pope Francis use the word mediocrity in his homily today at Casa Santa Marta. Included here from www.vaticannews.va
Pope Francis reflected:There shall always be rejoicing and happiness in what I create.
‘When the Lord passes into our life and performs a miracle in each of us, and each of us knows what the Lord has done in our life, it does not end there: this is the invitation to go forward, to continue on the journey, “seeking the face of God,” the Psalm says; seeking this joy.’
Pope Francis spoke about Christians who don’t continue to move forward on the spiritual journey after receiving their first grace. He compared them to someone going to a restaurant, ordering an appetizer, then going home not waiting for the main course.
‘Because there are so many Christians who are stopped, who don’t continue on the journey; Christians who have run aground on the concerns of daily life—good things in themselves!—but they don’t grow, they remain small. Parked Christians: they’ve parked. Caged Christians who don’t know how to fly with the dream to this beautiful thing to which the Lord calls us.’
He suggested we ask the following questions:
‘“What do I really desire?” Do I really desire God, and seek to be with Him? “Or am I afraid? Am I mediocre?” What is the measure of my desire? Am I satisfied with the appetizer, or do I desire the banquet that is set before me?’
The Holy Father encourages us all: ‘Go forward a little bit, take risks,’ he said. ‘The true Christian takes risks, he goes out of his comfort zone.’
So, don’t park your car and for sure don’t put on the emergency brake. Try not to get weighed down by the tedium of daily life. Never settle for mediocrity or the least common denominator. Remember from yesterday the words of the great cheerleader, St Paul: ‘By grace you have been saved’ (Ep 2:8). Furthermore, ‘we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them’ (Ep 2:10). In other words, we are made for great things in Christ Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We are to make the most of it amidst the concerns of daily life. Keep searching for God who never tires of searching for you—even when you run away. God will run after you. Another from the cheerleader: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light’ (Ep 5:14). If all else fails, remember the kerygma from Evangelii Gaudium, l64:Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you;and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you.KEEP GOING!