One Minute Reflection – 21 August – Tuesday of the Twentieth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 19:23–30 and the Memorial of St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) “Doctor of Light”
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and inherit eternal life...Matthew 19:29
REFLECTION – “Abraham became “the friend of God” (Jam 2,23) because he freely and generously followed the Word of God, his call. It was not due to any lack on His part that God’s Word gained Abraham’s friendship. He is perfect from the beginning; “Before Abraham was, I am” (Jn 5,58). But it was that He, who is good, might give Abraham eternal life… Likewise, in the beginning, it was not because He had any need of man that God formed Adam but that He might have someone on whom to bestow His blessings.
Still less was it because He needed our service that He commanded us to follow Him but to win salvation for us. For to follow our Saviour is to have a share in His salvation, just as following the light is to participate in the light. When we stand in the light it is not we who illumine the light and cause it to shine but we are illuminated and made shining by the light… God grants His blessings on those who serve Him because they are serving Him and on those who follow Him because they are following Him but He receives no blessing from them because He is perfect and without need.
If God asks for our service it is that He who is good and merciful might bestow His blessings on those who persevere in His service. Because, if God has no need of anything, yet we have need of communion with God. The glory of man is to persevere in the service of God. That is why our Lord said to His disciples: “You did not choose me, it was I who chose you” (Jn 15,16), thus indicating that… for having followed the Son of God they had been glorified by Him: “Father, I will that where I am they also may be, that they may see my glory” (Jn 17,24). … St Irenaeus of Lyons (c.130-c.208) Bishop, theologian and Martyr – Against the heresies, IV, 14,1 ; SC 100
PRAYER – All-knowing God, let me be able to stand in Your presence with a good conscience. Help me to avoid anything that would sully my conscience and do all I can to remain united with You . You made St Bernard burn with zeal for Your house and gave him the grace to enkindle and enlighten others in Your Church. Grant that by his prayer, we may be filled with the same spirit and always live as children of the Light. Through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.