Deacon Blog April 14, 2019
Do You Love Me?
Before you answer that, let me divert your attention. How many times in our youth, or “not so youth”, have we been told that “GOD Loves You”? It can have the feel of an “adolescent crush” that is shallow and short-lived. This frame of mind is what happens often, in our adult lives, when we grow weary of just hearing about the Love GOD has for us and we don’t really feel it. This apathy “shadows” our appreciation and becomes a complacent and “casual” approach in our faith lives.
If we are under the impression that Jesus was “warm and fuzzy” about commitment and dedication to HIS ministry, we should look deeper at HIS life. Framing HIS compassion and forgiveness was a distinct intensity about the consequences for lukewarm devotion (vomit was the word used). Matthew 25:31-46, is the summation of this point. Whatever we do (or not) for strangers and friends, loveable and un-lovable, we also do (or not) for Jesus himself. This determines whether our eternal life is in a “smoking or non-smoking” section. Circumstances, not-with-standing, and known only to the LORD. If I have come to understand anything about Christian devotion it is that it should never be lived as a “hobby” or something to dabble in. That is a focus on this life. If we use classical logic, what good is a Savior if we only value a life we already possess, and that will end someday? Taking this logic a step further, following Jesus through the “worship” of imitation can only improve our lives and the world. Dabbling in our devotion creates huge and potentially harmful “gaps” in the well-being of our communities. I am thinking here of abortion, suicide (and mental illness), sexual abuse, and rising homelessness. All societal problems are instantly solved when we fully respond to a GOD who loved us first. A GOD who loved us enough to sacrifice HIS son for the sins we commit, redeeming us to LIFE . Understanding this should move Christian believers to an appreciation that motivates us to “pay forward” the sacrifice and forgiveness we’ve been given by expressing these same values to the world. Evil in our world finds a foothold because too many are believers of “convenience”.
How do we gain strength in our Faith? First, we “pray without ceasing” as St. Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians. Second, we elevate our understanding of Christian teaching. Third, and most important, we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit to guide us. This final effort is THE work of our Church. It is the vehicle for the Mystical Body of Christ to work for Christ’s mission. To be clear, I am not speaking of donning long robes and walking around reciting lengthy prayers all day. I refer to our state of mind, our character, and the awareness that we are always in the presence of the Spirit. Not so we can be saved, but so we can further the mission of Christ to reveal the Kingdom of GOD in our midst. To paraphrase St. Francis, “Who we are speaks so loudly no one hears what we are saying”. Christians all over the world are devoting their lives in service to the “greater good” of GOD. Over two billion Christians should be able to tip the scales of this life to Peace and an abundance of Joy for all. This is what Lent and Easter are ALL about.
HIS Holy Blessings…
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