Wednesday of the Twenty-fourth week in Ordinary Time
“God call us unwearyingly to conversion”
How long are we going to put off obeying Christ, who calls us into his heavenly Kingdom? Aren’t we going to purify ourselves? Won’t we resolve to forsake our customary way of life to follow the Gospel radically?… We claim to want the Kingdom of God yet without bothering to concern ourselves with the means of obtaining it.
What is more, in the conceitedness of our souls, without taking the least trouble to obey the Lord’s commandments, we think ourselves worthy to receive the same reward as those who have resisted sin to the death! But how could anyone sit and sleep at home at the time of sowing and then gather in sheaves by the armful at harvest? Who has ever brought in the grapes without having planted and tended the vine? Fruit is for those who have toiled; rewards and crowns for those who have conquered. Has anyone ever crowned an athlete who did not even strip to fight his opponent? And yet, not only must we win but we must also “fight according to the rules”, as the apostle Paul says, that is to say according to the commandments we have been given…
God is good; but he is also just…: “The Lord loves justice and right” (Ps 32,5); that is why “Of kindness and judgement I will sing” (Ps 100,1)… See how wisely the Lord exercises kindness. He is not gracious without consideration, nor does he judge without mercy, for “Gracious is the Lord and just” (Ps 115,5). So don’t underestimate God: his love for men should not become a pretext for negligence on our part.
Saint Basil (c.330-379), monk and Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, Doctor of the Church