|The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book III Chapter XXII: ”Remembrance of the Innumerable Benefits of God” (third entry)
The closing paragraph of this chapter drives home the point, made so often in this book, that God’s will and glory trump all other considerations in life. Keeping this straight allows everything else to fall in place. “Love, and do what thou wilt,” St Augustine said.
|Today’s Gospel reading: Mt 10:24-33
Jesus continues His lesson on discipleship in this passage. Do not worry about insults — Jesus suffered the worst (the Son of God being called a demon). Be bold in proclaiming the Gospel forthrightly and widely. Be not afraid, even of bodily death for the sake of the Name. Rather, defend Jesus and do not deny Him — one’s eternal fate depends on it.
It is certainly the case that by endeavoring to do God’s will in all circumstances, we will stand in good stead on the day of our judgment. Prayer (especially The Lord’s Prayer: “thy will be done”), spiritual direction, Scripture, and catechesis all assist in discerning the Lord’s will for us and then acting on it appropriately. When God comes first, others come second, and we come last, we have the order correct. And if we have the right order how possibly would we not as a matter of course be able to acknowledge God? We should never be reluctant to praise God in prayer and to others for the benefits we have received. Who knows, we may get a friend or stranger to consider his relationship with the Almighty in doing so. Just the name of Jesus (“God saves”) is a powerful evangelical tool — don’t be sparing in using it reverently and excitedly with others.