Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr

Rom 3:21-30; Ps 130:1-6; Lk 11:47-54

With Psalm 130 we, the church, pray hear my voice O LORD and let your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication.  Indeed, anyone who prays, really prays, uncovers many reasons to repent.  Without the boundless mercy of the LORD we could not stand in his presence.  We have learned and taught to generation after generation, for souls who trust in the LORD the coming of dawn is only a hint of the coming of the Light of the World.  We await his coming vigil after vigil.  We wait for his coming more than any sentinel waits for the coming of the sun.  He fulfills his promise to come to us in this Eucharist.  Here and now we already begin to experience the fullness of redemption.


Faith is the basis for hope and the source of charity.  Saint Paul writes in his letter to the early Christian community in Rome, where there is a great division among believers based on observance of the Law.  For the circumcised believers there was a sense of importance above the uncircumcised believers.  The Jewish converts held it over the Gentile converts.  Such a division was destructive of church.  Saint Paul, as a wise and zealous pastor, targeted this division with his theology.  Out of his reflection on faith The Apostle fashioned a tool for the reconciliation of the Jewish and Gentile converts to Christ.  We are all freely justified by grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as expiation.  Indeed In His Blood we have the forgiveness of our sins and the gratuitous gift of righteousness.  Neither circumcision nor lack of it has anything to do with the gift of faith in Christ Jesus.  There is not room to boast, save in the Cross.  This principle of theology is invaluable for healing wounds of division in the Body of Christ in every generation.


It’s always easier to silence the prophets, rather that listen and be converted.  It’s always easier to build memorials to the prophets, rather than learn from them and have our stony hearts broken open.  We too are guilty of giving lip service to the gospel, rather than be silenced by its demands.  We too raise our church songs of praise, rather than take these words to heart and live the good news they proclaim.  From the foundation of the covenant, we join our ancestors in rejecting the prophets and the Apostles.  We would rather shed their blood between the altar and the temple building, rather than surrender to the truth they proclaim.  Their teachings hold the wisdom that unlocks the door of heaven and the gates of the Kingdom of God.  The Lord Jesus dares to speak such severe judgment to the religious authorities of his own day.  The Lord Jesus continues to challenge religious authorities of our own day.  Indeed, this is the duty of everyone baptized into Christ.  We too must stand up and speak the truth, in season and out of season, when people want to hear it and when they do not want to listen.  We too will be treated with hostility.  Those we challenge will interrogate us about many things.  Indeed, they plot to catch us in something we might say.  When our life is hidden with Christ in God, we cannot, not proclaim the wisdom of Christ and his cross in every generation, until he returns in glory—the very glory for which we were made to praise and proclaim.