Readings: Genesis 12:1-4; Acts 4:32-35; Mark 10:17-30
What do we celebrate with today’s solemnity?
Of course, we’re celebrating people, whether we mean the first three Abbots or all the monks who began life at Citeaux. But people aren’t just biographical data, done and gone. They reverberate through our lives and in our memories and choices: that is what I would describe.
In their lives I see a great longing for intimacy with God, inspired by God’s gratuitous initiative, inviting that intimacy. This immense longing does not reach across the universe to touch a distant god but digs deep right here in the mundane and in the depths of ourselves. A longing for God that is centered on God, and not satisfaction, can penetrate the wilderness of self-knowledge and still marvel at the encounter, rather than the tedium of the effort.
I perceive a joy in whatever is given, as a gift from God, exactly what is needed right now, even when that contradicts my expectations. This is a life to be enjoyed, not an achievement to be relished.
Such longing never has to be satisfied to be life-giving, nor does it need applause. Does it matter that people believe that we are wasting our lives?
This is a way of living that can only be chosen–no one just falls into it. May this vocation be a reminder that no life is random. May we be a blessing to all we meet.