On this feast of St Theresa of
Job 42:1-3, 5-6, 12-17
Psalm 119:66, 71, 75, 91, 125, 130
Ambition can have a good meaning, and a bad one.
Our parents so prayed for ambitious sons and daughters who would eventually be eager to help on the farm for an aging father, or helping a tired mother, worn out with taking care of children and cooking and cleaning from morning until night.
That kind of ambition is best summed up as industriousness. But Jesus, in today's Gospel, condemns His disciples for being "ambitious" for praise and self-glorification. After all, they have cast out demons and cured diseases. Jesus rebukes them, telling them that such ambition will not win them the kingdom, but rather, they should seek a childlike spirit.
How fitting is such a message for this feastday of St.Thérèse of Lisieux! She won sainthood by her "little way," consistently child-like in accepting pain and suffering, and delighting to serve God through her insignificance. In turn, her Beloved was delighted with her, and in turn, He fulfilled her every prayer from her heavenly workbench.
May we take this lesson to heart this day, seeking to fuse our pains and sufferings with the Passion of Jesus Christ. While we will, in all probability, never be canonized, we can achieve a spirit of peaceful serenity and joy that can be attained in no other way.
Father Ed Bakker