Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Lectionary 494. Philemon 7-20. Psalm 146:7.8-9.9-10. Luke
“The reign of God is already in your midst.” Jesus consoles us with that
statement. It summons us to have faith of the heart for deep within our
hearts, minds, and souls is the presence of Jesus who brought the reign of
God from heaven to earth (Incarnation) and who helps us to keep our final
goal in mind–to reach the reign of God in heaven. Some call the fact of
the kingdom of God being in our midst a form of “realized
eschatology”–namely, that the kingdom of God is present now among us.
Spiritual writers take it a step further and suggest that through faith of
the heart we can realize that Jesus reigns within our hearts now not merely
in the future. The truth of it all is that we are one in Christ through our
St. Leo the Great whose feast we celebrated yesterday, Nov. 10 th, captures
the above statement of Luke in this way: “The Word made flesh lived among
us, and in redeeming the whole human race, Christ gave himself entirely.”
Leo writes almost in a contemporary manner in all of his works. He is clear
and orderly in his thoughts thus we can easily enjoy them and grow in our
faith. He is a doctor of the Church and is called Leo the Great.
We therefore have the kingdom of God within us. Jesus reigns in our hearts.
Our devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus helps us to have the experience
of faith of the heart that enables us then to appreciate, to love, and to
thank Jesus for the intimacy that we enjoy with him. We need to experience
more than to simply remember or know about Jesus and what he did for us.
The Word of God enters like a friend into our hearts.
Philemon is considered a saint and so is the former slave Onesimus who
eventually is said to become the bishop of Ephesus where John and the
Blessed Virgin are said to have come and live there. This letter to
Philemon is the most personal letter we have from Paul and it is only one
page. It may be a good way to close this day for our evening prayer or
night prayer. Amen.