We’d all like to fulfill ourselves as persons, as unique masterpieces, as lives that are not identically mass produced but extraordinarily always new.
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Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” The kingdom of heaven isn’t a matter of speeches, words, phone calls, endless messages, arguments, clarifications, meetings, conferences, debates, pastoral plans, and program guidelines. The kingdom of heaven is a simple matter of trying to do God’s will. Anyone who lives continuously trying like this is similar to a man who spent his life hammering away at rock until he built a reliable house. Certainly he labored hard, but rather than a meaningless toil, it’s a blessed one.
The big question that today’s Gospel proposes to us, however, is a different one, and it concerns whether or not we know how to recognize God’s will. In fact, too often we delegate the determination of “God’s will” to others, or simply ignore it because we fear that God’s will is going to be all about renouncing our own.
In reality, however, the question of God’s will regards not only the meaning of our own will, but the meaning of all of life. God’s will is actually what fulfills us. We’d all like to fulfill ourselves as persons, as unique masterpieces, as lives that are not identically mass produced but extraordinarily always new. The question of God’s will is a big question about happiness. Discovering it means knowing that at the end of the road we’ll find what we were really looking for.
Jesus taught us that very often this road passes through the narrow path of the cross. But that’s why we accept the cross: because we know that it’s not our suffering or our sacrifice that gives glory to God, but what’s hidden there at the very heart of what appears to be darkness and sacrifice.
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.