Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Sunday Readings







The Thirtieth  Sunday in Ordinary Time; Cycle A

October 25, 2020

Readings: Exodus 22.20-26;  1st Thessalonians 1.5-10;  Matthew 22.34-40
The simplicity and the directness of this Sunday’s Readings are riveting.  They draw us into the heart of the Divine Life.
Flying into the Heart of the Sun Like an  Eagle
St. Therese of Lisieux described herself as a little bird with the eyes and the heart of an eagle.  Indeed, a little bird, she said, who had wounded itself in a way by fooling around too much in puddles  and sand so as a result she couldn’t fly.  Christ was her eagle who flew with her on His back into the Sun, right into the heart of the Sun, “to the bosom of the eternal Sun, the Holy Trinity.”  Her faith gave her the intuition that she was carried into the divine life of Trinitarian Love.
The Law of Total Love Image of the Love in God: The Gospel Reading
Even though the question put by the Pharisees was an attempt to trap Jesus, our Lord answers with words that summarize the whole of divine revelation.  Our Savior proclaims the everlasting Truth in the midst of duplicity and confusion that surround us in this age. The darkness cannot put out the Light.  Jesus directs our eyes into the Sun—he flies us there in his Holy Spirit:
“Teacher, which commandment of the Law is the greatest?”  Jesus said to him:
“You shall love the Lord your God
with your whole heart,
with your whole soul,
with all your mind.
This is the greatest and first commandment.  The second is like it:
       You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Of these two commandments the whole Law is based, and the prophets as well.”
(The Gospel Reading)
As Long as There Has Been Revelation: God’s Total Love
These are the sacred words that the Jewish Law had always held out as the foundation of all life with God.  It is the Shema written on all the doors of a believing , practicing family.  It is touched reverently leaving and coming.  Now it is written on our hearts in the new Israel of God;  the words bring us higher and mysteriously deeper into the very life of the Triune God.  There is no entrance into God except in living these words in the Spirit by the power of Christ’s grace.
Prayer: the Response of Love
These sacred words given by Jesus, the fullness of all revelation, move us into our prayer.  Whether it is the Liturgy of the Eucharist or of the Liturgical Hours or meditation on Sacred Scripture or the silence of interior prayer of the heart,  the call of God to love Him is the grace that allows us to pray.  No one can even say the name of Jesus without the power of the Holy Spirit, St. Paul tells us.  And the Holy Spirit is the Love of the Father and the Son.  So, we are in the Father through the Son by the power of divine Love who is the Holy Spirit.
First Reading: God Is Compassionate
The First Reading tells us how God describes Himself. 
For I am compassionate. 
The First Reading tells us that divine love acts not only deeply in the transformation of our souls, but it runs over into the daily service we give to others.  Thus, the Second Part of the Great Commandment is bound to the first.  Jesus expands the Hebrew Shema to include the fruit of divine love in the love for others, especially those who need compassion in special ways.  The widow, the orphan, the poor are always with us.  St. Antony goes into the desert only when he has given all that he owned away to feed the poor and has provided for his sister.
Second Reading: The Prerequisite of Conversion
The Second Reading is about conversion.  God’s compassion is first shown in grace that purifies us.  I read the review of a new theological book by a radical feminist.  She writes that the new, re-imagined Christianity must not look upon Christ as the Savior who saves us and empowers us.  Christ is among us only to show us how to live.  We have the power within ourselves without any redemptive act on his part.  This is the thrust of radical feminism to free woman from the necessity of a “male savior.”  A cause for justice has been misdirected against the Revelation concerning the Son of God, Jesus our Savior who became a man to be with us as our sacrificial redemption.
Man or woman, we are powerless to love without the saving power of the Holy Spirit who comes to us by the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus. 
The people of those parts are reporting what kind of reception we had from you and how you turned to God from idols to serve him who is the living and true God and to wait from heaven the Son he raised from the dead—Jesus who saves us from the wrath to come (Second Reading).
Abandonment to the Eagle Christ: Our Savior
As we enter into our prayer we must consciously with simplicity and gentleness call upon the Holy Spirit to empower us in the grace of Jesus to move into the heart of the Father in contemplative love. St. Therese  compared herself to a bird flying upon the wings of the Eagle Christ into the Sun of the Trinitarian life of love.  The gift of that simple intuitive gaze into the Sun of the Trinity is the definition of contemplative prayer.
I do not find in myself the capability of sharing in the divine life.  I am nothing without the creative act of God and the redemptive act of His Son, our Lord Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.
I will sing with the inspiration of the Sunday’s Responsorial Psalm:
I love you, O Lord, my strength, O Lord, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!
Lord Jesus, I surrender into the saving love of the Eucharist; and I am one with you in Holy Communion by the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Transform me that I will be more and more your compassion among all I meet and serve in the practical call of my particular vocation.  Mary, pray for me that I will be a servant of divine compassion having known compassion in the Sacred Heart of your Son, Jesus, my Lord.  St.  Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, teach me about the divine Eagle, Christ.

William Fredrickson, Obl. Secular OSB; D.Min.


For questions, comments or other communication, please contact:
William Frederickson