Psalm: 35
Gospel: Mark 3:7-19
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from a treatise on the Mysteries by St. Ambrose

Random fun fact: When I was in seminary, we often would joke around about being posted to “St. Swithin’s by the Swamp” for first ministry assignments (to refer to parishes out in the boonies)…..At first I thought it was just a euphemism my profs. and colleagues used…..turns out he’s an actual saint who is venerated in England….Today (July 15th) is his feast day. 🙂

Light is preferable to its shadow, reality to its symbol, the body of the Giver to the manna he gave from heaven.

At the risk of getting a little too po-mo in my reflection……I kinda like what Ambrose says here.

In the Christian conception, the Sacraments are what allow us to see God as He truly is…a person who gives us life and fulfillment for the body, the mind and the soul.

Our God is not one who hides behind the veil of heaven…..but discarded the veil and came down to meet us face to face. One of the unspoken extensions of this is that the Sacraments change us too.

By placing our faith in a God who reveals himself fully, we are also making a choice to show our full selves to the world….to be a reflection of the one who created us and reshaped us in baptism. St. Ambrose’s call to recognize the bread and wine as Body and Blood also act as a subtle reminder that our lives are to be sacraments…our actions are to be outward and visible signs of the inward and invisible Grace we have received.

We don’t have the time or energy to waste in presenting false personas to the world……After all….what does that accomplish…..except to hide behind the comfortable veil of sin and self-will once more????

The key–I think–is to remember that we have been adopted as children of the Most High. Once we claim that identity for our own…..the true Light which dispels all darkness becomes a part of us……so that when we encounter one another 1:1, the other person sees not only our personalities…..but the love of Jesus radiating through us……as we are truly meant to shine in this world. ❤ +