Thanks for joining me as we Lectio the Liturgy, the Collect for the 30th week in Ordinary Time. It’s a tricky Collect this week.
Almighty ever-living God, increase our faith, hope and charity, and make us love what you command, so that we may merit what you promise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
The “increase our faith, hope and charity” part is easy! Perhaps you’re one of the rest of us who need to spend some time with the next line, “make us love what you command.”
The words “make me” too often have a rebellious connotation, similar to a toddler who doesn’t want to wear that shirt just because you want him to. Obviously, “make” used here means something else. Used here, “make” means to do, fashion, construct, it’s from the Latin “fac.”
Here comes the hard part. What if God wants me to do something I don’t want to do? Like be a missionary in the Congo? You know what? If God wanted me to be a missionary in the Congo, he would have put that desire in my heart, and then I would joyfully want to do what he commands.
I’ve heard people say “no” to God because they’re afraid of what they think they might have to give up. But it’s not all like that, either.
George Leo Haydock wrote that we may think God’s commands are heavy because of our human frailty, or because of our love of worldly vanity, or we think it’s too hard to comply with Christ’s teaching of self-denial. But, the love of God, the promises of eternal happiness in the next life, and the assistance God gives us makes this yoke of Christ sweet and his burden light.
We can’t merit God’s promises, eternal happiness and his help without an increase in virtue and loving God’s commands.
Spend some time this week with 1 John 5:3. Talk to God about what seems burdensome in your faith life, ask Him to help you and listen for his answer.
Thank you for praying with me, have a blessed week!