Tertianship – believe what is given to you

The Gospel talked of the importance of the law.  But what does he mean?  And is Chris really going to talk about the law at this Tertianship Mass.  Well, no he isn’t – kind of.

As I said to at your opening Mass on November 16, last year, we were reflecting on the woman at the well. “… tertianship is a rest time. A time of Sabbath for renewal and finding out what nourishes and deepens life. I imagine you will spend these months doing many things, among them you will have the opportunity to spend some quality time with Jesus. No doubt doing this, will renew your original sense of vocation, his love for you, your love for him. May it be a time in which you find yourself face to face with him at the well of your own life, a place where he can give you, and only he can give you, “the water that will become a spring of water within, welling up for eternal life.” what a beautiful opportunity you have.”

Believe it or not this is what the Gospel is talking today.  The law must always be understood in terms of the covenant.  Covenant is a profound intimacy with God who gives his life for us so completely out of love, that it sustains us and nourishes us.  Law is the process of living that covenant of love. It is not meant to limit freedom, or enforce uniformity, but to orient us in the direction of our deepest desire.  

Jesus puts it very simply for us, Matthew 22 says, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” 

So, in the Gospel of today we are reminded that love of God and neighbour are the hook on which everything hangs.  We recognise in this a profoundly social responsibility.

As this Tertianship comes towards its end may you reach deeply into the heart of nourishment that you have found in God’s love for you. May it so fill your life that as you return to your places of ministry and community, to the world and to your involvement in it, that you will bring a freshness from your rest, a joy from your encounter, and an excitement from your intimacy with Jesus to all those you meet in the world.  May it make you fully alive in yourself and put a smile on your face.  No doubt, there will be challenges on the road ahead.  Never let go of the hope you have found. Jesus is so close to you and calling to you to each day.

In her book A return to love: Reflections on the principles of a course in miracles, Marianne Williamson writes.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God, your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people our permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Let us celebrate the closeness of God to you, and rejoice to take up the path he has laid out before you.