It’s fun to wrestle with the paradoxes of Scripture. At one point Jesus says, "Peace is my gift to you, my peace I want to leave you," but in another place Jesus says, "I didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword; I
came to divide father against son." In the Letter of James the author states that faith without good works is empty, but in some of St. Paul’s Letters we hear that our salvation is not in good works but faith.
In last Sunday’s Gospel Jesus spoke to Peter as rock, and in today’s first reading we hear the Lord takes away our stoney hearts. Paul separates flesh and spirit, but we also hear today the "hearts of flesh" imagery.
The life of St. Pius X whose feast we celebrate today, enfleshes this ambiguity, perhaps paradox – his life of tremendous reverence for tradition, yet open to radical changes. We learn in visceral ways the
"both-and" rather than "either-or" path of true discipleship. And maybe the truly whole or holy is recognizing the nuanced way that many are called, but few chosen.
Fr. Jack Conley, C.P. is pastor of St. Agnes parish, Louisville, Kentucky.