Rom 5:12,15,17-21; Ps 40:7-10,17; Lk 12:35-38
What gives us delight? Is it doing the will of God? What a rare consideration in our time, during the reign of Narcissism, when many live as if they were Solipsists, even if they have never heard either term. So many live as if the entire universe was dependent on them. It seems that many people see themselves as the only truly self-sufficient being and that what appears to be reality is just a function of their creative juices. Such attitudes and behaviors describe people who would rarely find delight in doing God’s will. Indeed, they might say, “to do my will, is my delight!” The glad surrender described in today’s psalm is quite foreign. It seems that God doesn’t want ritual sacrifices or oblation, rather God wants ears open to obedience. Even burnt offerings or sacrifices for sin God does not seek, rather God seeks us. Any and every symbol of our self-donation is inadequate. The only sacrifice worthy of God is our very self immersed in the Holy Spirit and alive in Christ. Only then can we say without hesitation and in total abandon, “Behold I come.” Saint Paul provides a reason to live in hope, a reason to live in total self-surrender, “Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through justification for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” In the gospel today, the Lord Jesus calls blessed those whom the Master finds vigilant at his arrival. Only when we delight to do God’s will are we vigilant at the Lord’s arrival.
What was that one righteous act through which acquittal and life came to all? It was an act of obedience. The obedience of the New Adam completely undoes the disobedience of the Old Adam. Indeed, Saint Paul knew that sin increased through his study of Sacred Scripture and in his own experience. We, too, can affirm the universal truth of original sin and our inheritance of this malady. Through one transgression, condemnation and death came into human history and into the human heart. Likewise, through one righteous act, acquittal and life came into human history and into the human heart. If the obedience of The One, the only begotten Son, made many righteous, what will be the impact of the obedience of the Mystical Body of Christ? We, too, marvel and cannot restrain our lips as we behold the mystery of grace upon grace, love upon love, light upon light. Such an overflowing causes our hearts to overflow with wonder and praise, again and again, day by day, and week after week.
Are we those blessed servants? Are we not the ones whom the Lord Jesus girds himself to serve at the table of his Perfect Sacrifice? Being vigilant at his arrival means having our loins gird and lamps lit in loving service of all whom the Lord Jesus has found willing and ready to come to the banquet. Not necessarily those who think themselves worthy and ready, but the lame, the blind, the poor, the left-out, the ignored, the abused, the abandoned and so many others. The surprise of the Lord Jesus’ return from a wedding, from the wedding of the Lamb with the glorious and bright woman from on high, will be equaled by the delight in having him gird his loins and serve us. Who could have ever imagined such joy? Yet, at every Mass we have nothing less than a glimpse of the glory.