Called to Live Anew.
â€œGive, and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.â€
Anew â€“ Life Anew in Christ is exhibited especially when we call people to know, love, and serve the Lord and His Holy Church right here at this parish.
Today we enter the second week of this Pre-Lenten season. This season is one in which we prepare ourselves for the rigors of the Lenten season because it is between now and Easter that we endeavor and strive at the vast changes we need in our lives.
Jesus certainly speaks of vast changes, a true upheaval in our lives. Jesus calls His followers to radically different lives. If we were once silent and demure we must now speak up boldly.
In this discourse on living radically different lives Jesus alludes to measures â€“ the weight of our obligation and the generous weight of Godâ€™s response.
Certainly, many of us have baked. Perhaps it is only out of a Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines box. Perhaps it is from scratch.
If we have cooked from scratch, consider how the measurement and handling of flour can result in such different weights. A cup of sifted flour seems light while a packed down cup of flour can be quite dense and heavy. As we shake that cup down, we can always seem to add more.
Consider how those weights might represent our call to life anew, to the inner changes we need and our call to drawing others into worship and fellowship right here.
It is a serious obligation to live as Jesus says we must: loving people who hurt us, giving our all and without expectation of repayment, foregoing judgment and accusation, and forgiving.
We draw people to Jesus because our lives are so different from that of the world. Jesus is saying the cup of our work can always be shaken down more â€“ and that we must put more into it.
In return, Jesus makes an awesome statement. We will be repaid equally. As radically different as our lives are, so radically will God give unto us. What we pack in will be poured into us.
Our Kingdom lives are so vastly different and so amazingly blessed. As St. Paul tells us, the image of the earthly and worldly man in us â€“ the place we came from â€“ is vastly changed because we now bear the image of Christ Jesus. We therefore must give our all and still more for the advancement and growth of the Kingdom because we are the image of the heavenly.
Put the image of God’s generous outpouring into our mindâ€™s eye and pour into the places we go a heavy, not a sifted, weight of our own life in Jesus.