January 18, 2015
We read in 1 Corinthians:9-17 (Douay-Rheims)
“Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God. And such some of you were; but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of our God.
All things are lawful to me, but all things are not expedient. All things are lawful to me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meat for the belly, and the belly for the meats; but God shall destroy both it and them: but the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. Now God hath both raised up the Lord, and will raise us up also by his power. Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of a harlot? God forbid. Or know you not, that he who is joined to a harlot, is made one body? For they shall be, saith he, two in one flesh. But he who is joined to the Lord, is one spirit.
Fly fornication. Every sin that a man doth, is without the body; but he that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body. Or know you not, that your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, whom you have from God; and you are not your own? For you are bought with a great price. Glorify and bear God in your body.”
Do we not see clearly the teaching that God so loved the human body (a world full of human beings with bodies and souls), in fact, the very bodies of the people He loves, that he gave His own holy and sacred body for them. This is the heart of God, to love us body and soul. Did He not condescend to become human for this purpose, to raise us body and soul into a new and holy life? Our bodies, desecrated like the orphaned infant in Ezekiel 16, covered in filth and blood and repulsive in our sin have been saved along with our souls. Our very bodies have been made into the white garment of holy perfection according to the will of God.
This word is not for the unbeliever, who scoffs at it without understanding. It is for those who put their faith in Jesus Christ. Do we believe this, my brothers and sisters? Do we really believe?
No. We cannot believe, not when we aid and abet the desecration and destruction of bodies fashioned by the hand of God. If we do not speak with the voice of the prophets against this abomination, then we neither believe, nor are we saved. Where there is no faith, there is no salvation. The grace given to us to believe also gives us a desire for the truth and a contempt in our own hearts and minds for every evil. If we, therefore, live in indifference to God’s holy law, to the love that He has for all of His people, great and small, then we have no faith, no faith that can save. Faith is not a magical incantation, recited to effect salvation. No, such things are witchcraft and illusion. Faith is the grateful and continual reception of God’s grace. Faith falls from the lips of Mary at the Annunciation, “Be it done to me according to thy word,” and it continues in her daily acceptance of all that God had planned for her. Such is faith.
Do not be deceived that you can wield the heart of God like a magic wand. It is the one who does the will of the Father who loves God. Yes, it is by grace that we have this desire, and it is by the power of the Holy Spirit given to those who ask for Him, that we can strive towards holiness. Work out, therefore, your salvation in fear and trembling. Always, continuously confess your sins and pray for help daily. God, Who loves you is your guarantor. Trust in Him with your whole heart. Hold nothing back, not the tiniest idol nor improper desire. Give it all away. Pick up your cross daily and follow Him. Remember Him Who has planned great things for you. Trust in Him alone and lean not on your own understanding.
Mary, Mother of the Word Incarnate, the Lord is with you. Dear Mother and Queen of Heaven, whose heart is pierced by the ignorance, indifference, and hatred of men. Ever Virgin, whose fiat is a gift to all men. Mary, mother of the living, hear us and obtain for us, by your intercession the grace we need to live a holy and devout life, true to the gospel without compromise, without shame, without indifference or apathy. Pray Holy Mother, that we may give ourselves completely to our Savior and be free at last. We fly to you. We honor you. We pray thanksgiving to God for you. We ask for your help in our daily lives. We ask for your intercession now and at the hour of our death. In the name of your divine Son, our Redeemer, our Hope, we ask all of these things, and doing “all that He says,” according to your instruction, we live in the confidence that God’s will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven, that His goodness will envelope us on the last day and fill us with everlasting joy and peace. Amen.