18th Sunday of Ordinary Time
This Sunday, the second reading will be from Ephesians 4:17, 20-24, but I strongly suggest reading the skipped verses, as well as the other readings.
I think it was my dad that told me the story of a teacher he had it grade school who could tell whether a child had gone to church by how he behaved on Monday.
And in a manner of speaking, that’s how it’s supposed to be. When we have an encounter with the most high, it should change us.
So, has my relationship with Jesus changed me? For a long time, I didn’t know that this question was one I needed to be able to answer. If you’re not sure if it’s changed you, consider keeping a spiritual diary. I’ve found mine very instructive.
It may be that your relationship with Christ has been a constant in your life for so long that you don’t remember what you were like before. Paul doesn’t ask his readers this question directly, but he invites the question by what he has written: Do I live like someone who doesn’t know Christ, or do I live differently?
Does my faith affect everything I do? If Christ doesn’t put any restraining action on me - if I don’t do some things and avoid others because of my relationship with Christ - then what purpose is my faith serving?
How about the Eucharist? Does it change me? When the Israelites were fed manna by the Lord in the desert, it didn’t fundamentally change them. They continued to be the same stiff-necked, stubborn, and superstitious people who were always looking for signs and wondering off to serve false gods like their neighbors did.
Does the very bread of life change me?
When Moses went to meet with the lord in the “tent of meeting”, he would emerge so radiant that he had to wear a veil to protect the people. Does receiving Our Lord in the Eucharist affect me in that way?
If not, what’s standing in my way from allowing my faith to change me? From allowing the Eucharist to change me?
I know that I have not changed as much as I should have from being in your presence and receiving you. Help me to love you more and more, and to love your laws, that I might not find in them something confining, but see in them your love, and become freed by the knowledge of that love.