“Your word, O Lord, is truth; consecrate us in the truth.”
Oh my goodness! Did you know there is a wikiHow on “How to Consecrate Yourself to God”? What a hoot! In the midst of a website filled with a myriad of how-to’s from “How to Dress for a Gala” to “How do dry apples” to “How to buy running shoes”, there is an actual 7 step process explaining consecration and outlining steps to Consecrate Yourself to God. Complete with pictures! (Okay, they aren’t great pictures, but there are pictures!)
Of course, this is nothing new, because in today’s Gospel reading, through a series of three very short and seemingly unrelated parables about blind guides, teachers and disciples, and the totally icky image of a log sticking out of someone’s eye, Jesus continues doing exactly the same thing.
According to wikiHow, “In a general sense, the term ‘consecration’ refers to the act of dedicating oneself to a specific purpose or intention. To ‘consecrate’ yourself essentially means to wholly dedicate yourself to something of greatest importance.” (https://m.wikihow.com/Consecrate-Yourself)
…wholly dedicate yourself to something of greatest importance… What does that look like in action for the Catholic Christian? In the first one-line parable, Jesus is speaking to those in the Jewish community who consider themselves arbitrators of the truth. It is a repeat of a calling out from the Gospel of Matthew on the Pharisees for claiming to have cornered the market on how to be holy and follow God. They saw themselves as the only ones who were really consecrated to God and others just didn’t measure up. We get the same call out when we consider ourselves superior to others because of how we live our faith. If we are consecrated in the truth, we know the truth about ourselves and who we are in relationship to God. We live in humility.
Jesus jumps to a comparison of teachers and disciples. There is a subtlety to this statement that seems to be weakened by our language. (Sometimes English just doesn’t seem to have the proper words to explain nuances or at least my grasp of our language doesn’t, but that is another story.) Jesus is our Master, not our school teacher. Students learn lessons from teachers who come and go with specific learning goals. A Master lives with his students who are not merely pupils accumulating knowledge, they are disciples striving to live the same life as their Master. When we place knowing, loving, and serving God at the center of our lives, we don’t simply learn the stories of Jesus, we dedicate ourselves to living in the same manner as the one who is the Truth. It isn’t as much about what we can repeat as how we live.
Finally, there is the parable about trying to remove the speck from your neighbor’s eye without removing the beam from your own. This seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? Step 7 of our wikiHow on Consecration states, “Consecration is not a single, one-time-only decision. It is a way of living. When you make the decision to consecrate yourself, you must be prepared to continue pursuing God for the rest of your life…your consecration will never be ‘complete.’ You will never achieve perfect righteousness. God does not demand complete perfection, though. You are only asked to make the commitment and to actively pursue it. You can stumble as you walk the path, but you must choose to keep walking even when you do.” I love this! It is so Catholic in approach! Each day, we make our commitment to God anew. Each day, we renew our dedication to living as Jesus lived, loving as Jesus loved, serving as Jesus served. When we are doing this, we don’t have time to criticize our brothers and sisters, we are too busy living out our own consecration. We aren’t blind guides, we are partners on the path to living out our call to heaven here on earth. We are disciples together of the one who is the Truth, the Beauty, and the Good.
May your day be consecrated in Truth. May you see Him in the Beauty around you and may His Goodness pervade every aspect of your life.
Sheryl delights in being the number 1 cheerleader and supporter for her husband, Tom who is a candidate for the Permanent Diaconate in the Diocese of Kalamazoo. They are so grateful for the opportunity to grow together in this process whether it is studying for classes, deepening their prayer life or discovering new ways to serve together. Sheryl’s day job is serving her community as the principal for St. Therese Catholic School in Wayland, Michigan. Since every time she thinks she gets life all figured out, she realizes just how far she has to go, St. Rita of Cascia is her go-to Saint for intercession and help. Home includes Brea, a Bernese Mountain dog and Carlyn, a very, very goofy Golden Retriever.