Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 1, 2015 Wednesday: Blessed Junipero Serra

July 1, 2015 Wednesday: Blessed Junipero Serra

When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him. They were so savage that no one could travel by that road. They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?” (Matt 8:28-34)

There is no communion with God without transformation of the heart, and there is no transformation of the heart apart from Jesus Christ. An unconverted heart walks in darkness; it loves the darkness more than the light and does not seek to escape from the shadows (John 3:19- 20). We can view the whole Gospel message in this perspective of the struggle between light and darkness.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:5). “He came to his own people, and they did not receive him” (John 1:11). And so the apostle John exhorts us,

“My little children, do not sin” (1 John 2:1). Let us ask for the grace not to take sin lightly (cf. Rom 6:1). And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. (John 3:19- 20)

On the one hand, we cannot know God without being totally transformed; on the other hand, we cannot be transformed by our own efforts. Only when we situate ourselves in between these two truths can we begin to have hope. Only then will prayer arise in us— “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!” (Psalm 130:1)— for it arises out of our consciousness of being next to nothing (cf. Psalm 103:15- 16). In this cry from the depths we recognize that we are captives, torn apart within ourselves (cf. Rom 7:15). In the degree that we move toward the light, the confession of our sins will resound ever louder.

As for mortals, their days are like grass; they flourish like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. (Psalm 103:15- 16)

Pope Francis
Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus