Posts Tagged ‘Secular’

Suffering and Love…

August 26, 2018

“Let your love for one another be constant, for love covers and multitude of sins. Be mutually hospitable without complaining. As generous distributors of God’s manifold grace, put your gifts at the service of one another. Each on the measure he has received. The one who serves is to do it with the strength provided by God. Thus, in all of you God is to be glorified through Jesus Christ. “

( 1 Peter 4 8-11a )

In the backdrop of this story Peter is addressing the people in the five provinces of Asia Minor. These were a people who were undergoing persecutions, and alienation from their former beliefs, their former friends, and basically everything that they had previously known.. They were suffering both in ostracism but the persecution in their newly chosen faith.

The entire chapter of Peter was meant to both encourage these new Christians, but to provide an example of Christian life.

Like many other parts of scripture.. “ the old becomes new” in how it is that these passages become God speaking to us today for exactly the same reasons, and with the same type of purpose applied to each one of us.

The church here on earth, made up of humans, who are subject to the stain of original sin, with all its human failings, with all of their own individual weaknesses, suffers, and struggles, and sometimes fails because of its humanity.

It is important to realize that the church IS the body of Christ. If the church were just any other human organization, it would have failed long ago. It is not, however just a human organization, It is the Body of Christ. Consider, that the example that Jesus gave to us while here on Earth, is exactly how it is that we are to view not only our mission and existence as “Church” , but our life as brothers and sisters in Christ, who suffered for us.

Isaiah 53-1:12, gives us the vision of the “Suffering Servant”. Can you not also see in this reading ,

how it is that just as Christ did suffer, so the church suffers, and we as members of His body also suffer ?

More importantly, is not just that we suffer, but HOW we suffer, and what it is that we DO with that suffering. We are to first follow the greatest commandment which is to LOVE. We are to “assigned with wicked men (Isaiah 53:9), and we suffer.

Like all suffering, there is a larger purpose. The trials we suffer are there in order to be redemptive, and ultimately salvic in effect. If we suffer, we can choose to enter into cooperation with the will of God, in bringing about His kingdom. In the offering of our suffering in union with the suffering of Jesus Christ, in being the conduit of His graces, in being testament to faith in Jesus Christ.

Indeed, it can be through our suffering that we will see, that either in this life, or the next, that we will see “His offspring” ( Isaiah 53:10) , and we will see that the will of God prospered on earth as a result, and through that process, we will not only grow in our own faith, but we may also be the sower of the seed that bears good fruit in the Kingdom of God.

Take heart brothers and sisters, for our Lord said from the beginning, “ you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,*and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

(Matthew 16:18)

Remember that even since the time of the disciples, Satan has come among those in the church, and done evil within our midst. The church suffered because of it, but ultimately, we triumph overwhelmingly through our faith in Christ. It is not me, it is Christ within me.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

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Rejoice, Be Patient, and Persevere !

August 5, 2018

You love must be sincere. Detest what is evil, cling to what is good. Love one another with the affection of brothers. Anticipate each other in showing respect. Do not grow slack but be fervent in spirit; he whom you serve is the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient under trial, persevere in prayer. “

(Romans 12:9-12)

This passage has a number of messages for us to review and ( if we are wise) learn from.

First, “Your love must be sincere. Detest what is evil and cling to what is good. Love one another with the affections of brothers.” That’s pretty straight forward. Maybe not so easy at times, but pretty clear. Hold a brotherly love for one another. One of the great things about communication is audience. Who is speaking and who is listening.

The Apostle Paul is speaking to the Romans and in his work preaching to Gentiles about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the manner within which it is that they should live their lives in relation to their new faith ( remember these are people who have been busy worshiping various other gods at this point so this is all new information for them.

It bares out however, that these same preachings bare a virtual abundance in spiritual fruit for us to pick, consume, and become nourished by. We need constant reminders of what it is that Jesus calls us to. It is indeed a life of a continuity of love for our fellow man. This love includes those who are not among those of our own faith, and indeed of any faith at all. It includes those who may profess their faith differently. Different denominations, different rites etc.

Our love should reach to those who are the outcasts, the sick, the poor, those who have lost their way., and those who are different from ourselves. It should include those who dislike us for those same things.

Do not grow slack, but fervent in spirit” . This is not just for people who have fallen away from the church ! Oh no ! This IS for them, but it is also for those who are there every week, who are on the committees, or in the ministries, doing the physical work that needs doing. Indeed, doing the physical work apart from the formation and conviction of the heart is fruitless for the one doing the work. The REAL work for us is interior. We are but a conduit for Gods grace for others.

Rejoice in hope, be patient under trial, persevere in prayer. “ These are a bit of a prayer sandwich. We need to take the time to rejoice ! Rejoice in the bounty of blessings that we have. Not languish and wallow in self pity for the things we do not have. We are given by God all that we need.. ( not all we want). God is a good and gracious Father, and leads us ( in spite of our desires) to what is good for us.

We need patience. Many may say that they do not want to ask God for more patience, because inevitably, the trials will come that allow you to test that metal. So we shy away from asking. We should not fear trials. I mean lets be honest, trials are never fun. Small trials… large trials.. none of them give us great joy. I know.. I also am victim to this process. Wisdom comes on the heels of trial IF we are wise, and seek what is Gods will for us. You are testament in your trials to those around you .

We rarely get advanced notice of the storm of a trial that is coming. It is paramount, that we begin everything in prayer, and then persevere in prayer through the trials not only to seek Gods will in process, seek His divine assistance, but even to thank Him for his graces, through the trials he molds us, works with us, leads us to Himself.

Finally persevere in prayer of thanksgiving regardless of the outcome of the trial, being thankful for all of the many blessings given to us not only for our own benefit, but for the benefit of others, testament to HIS HOLY NAME !

May God give you the gift of His peace !

God Abides With Us !

July 29, 2018

“No one has ever seen God. Yet if we love one another, God dwells within us, and His love is brough to perfection in us. The way we know we remain in him and he in us is that He has given us His Spirit.

We have seen for ourselves and can testify, that the Father has sent the Son as saviour of the world.

When anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God dweels in him, and he is God.”

( 1 John 4:12-15 )

There are a couple of things that are interesting, and to a certain view, almost contradictory in this passage…

A little background is helpful. In this passage, John has left the area of Mesopotamia, and returned to Ephasus where he typically lived and ministered. This letter is written mostly to assure the faithful, and to combat false teachings that were circulating by way of false teachers.

In this passage it starts out that “ No one has ever seen God”. Of course, the reference there would be God , the Father, since Jesus had dwelt among us. John was not attempting to historically accurate rather, to say that no one living has seen the full Glory of God.

But, indeed, it is very possible, and particularly in the current age, to see God, in all the places of the Church. In the Word, in the People, and in the Holy Eucharist.

We can hear the voice of God in Word, every time we hear it proclaimed/. In Luke 4:21 , we know, that the Word is “fulfilled in its hearing”. Lets think about that for a moment. This is the reason why it is that the Gospels are proclaimed each Sunday at Holy Mass.

It is often said, and I can testify, that each time I hear the Gospels, and the readings, although I have heard them many many times, there is just some different facet that comes to light and lays itself bare to be pondered. It comes in a thought, or word, the mind becomes enlightened and the heart illumined by the possibility of a new meaning that is meant to give understanding for the hearer at that particular time.

It is the voice of God, that speaks to your heart.. God abiding with you.

God , present in the Holy Eucharist, where He dwells and remains with us, present in the world. There for us to come, commune, abide, and adore. It is here where we come , and in the proper disposition, we become that which we receive. It is for us to meditate, on God present in the Holy Eucharist, in our walk and in our worship. (john 6:51-56 ) “ I am the bread come down from Heaven…” Today God comes to us every day in churches all over the world in this way.

God abiding with us in the Holy Eucharist….

Finally God abides with us, in the people, this is why we refer to those who believe, as the Body of Christ. It is not the building, or any of the shiny trappings or the space…. it is the people !

For each believer is born with the imprint of the Most High ! Even those who have lost their way, or have not found their way yet. It is in the way that we live our lives that gives testament to the Glory that is God. It IS in how we love each other, it is in how we worship, it is in some cases more importantly how we FAIL, or how we respond to our own failures, that gives testament to who we are as children who have an abiding relationship with God.

Some of those failures have been part of a life long battle.. or just a circumstance. Our response to our own failures, and how we respond to the failures of others testifies to the presence of God in our lives..

In the Holy Eucharist we are to become that which we receive. God dwelling within us, shared sacrificially and freely with others.

Possibly you may feel that through lifes challenges and trials that you might feel that God has left you, or abandoned you, and does not abide with you because you did not get the answer to the prayer you were seeking.

As you can see from the readings above you are not alone.. Jesus told us that He would be with us until the end of the age.. He is still here. He is still with us.. and He still wants to shower you with the love of God until you are in Heaven with Him.

God is truly with us. God truly abiding with us. God being testified to through our love, through our lives.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Do Not, My Brothers Speak Ill of One Another…

July 15, 2018

“ Do not, my brothers, speak ill of one another. The one who speaks ill of his brother or judges his brother is speaking against the law. It is the law he judges. If however you judge the law you are no observer of the law, you are its judge. There is but one law giver, and Judge, one who can save and destroy. Who the are you to judge your neighbor ? “ ( James 4:11-12 )

In the Old testament was gain insight from God in 1 Samuel 16:7 :

But the LORD said to Samuel: Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. God does not see as a mortal, who sees the appearance. The LORD looks into the heart.

If you remember, this was Samuel, going to annoint the next king of Israel from the sons of Jesse.

By Samuels instruction, Jesse paraded all of his sons before Samuel, all except David, who was being the dutiful son and tending the sheep in the fields.

Of course, we know that David eventually is annointed as king. The point is that Jesse, made a judgement call because in his heart he didn’t believe that David would / should even be considered as the youngest..

There is a certain misunderstanding that in the Old Testament, that God was a vengeful, wrath-filled God, and only in the New Testament did we find the loving caring God characteristics. You will find if you read deeply, or analytically, that, the “curses” that were inflicted upon man, were redemptive in nature. The path of God is always redemptive, or salvic in nature. The curse was always meant to bring the person or group, back into a wholly covenant relationship with God.

Much in the same way , the church today does not arbitrarily ex-communicate one of the faithful, it is only done in circumstances where other efforts have failed, and the hope is that this will bring them back into the body.

All that being said, we need to look at the central theme of judgement. There is a difference between

discernment, and judgment. Discernment is more related to observation and decision. You see a stop sign and it is red. You should stop. Judgment, at least in the circumstance that James is speaking of, is the point at which you, even just in your mind, believe yourself to be better. If you fail to recognize your own failures.

Intention is the seed of judgment. If you know ( factually ) that a brother or sister has sinned, any action, any discernment , any processes, should begin with a little self examination. Then, any discussion, or subsequent action, if any, should be with the aim of reconciliation.

The old saying that “ He who seeks revenge first digs two graves” is true. For if your judging another, you have sinned indeed, and your sin of course, depending on the type/level etc of sin, is a type of death within your own soul. The same can be said for judging your brother or sister.

There is danger in the discernment or judgment of others. I find too often that our human judgment can be too failed or faulty as it is too often clouded by our very human experiences, emotion, history, etc. In Matthew 18:15, there is the prescription of what to do if a brother or sister is in sin. Be mindful though, that while this is true, do not be surprised if your own sin is brought to light, even if it is only within your own mind.

The law of the Lord is LOVE , therefore love your brothers and sisters even if they sin against you or another. All action should originate out of love. It is only in this way, that we can stand before God and bring our brothers and sisters with us.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Speak and Act as Men Destined for Judgment !

June 30, 2018

“Always speak and act as men destined for judgment under the law of freedom. Merciless is the judgment on the man who has not shown mercy; but mercy triumphs over judgment.

My brothers, what is it to profess faith with out practicing it ? Such faith has no power to save one, has it? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and no food for the day, and you say to them, “ Good-bye and good luck! Keep warm and well fed” but do not meet their bodily needs, what good is that ? SO it is with the faith that does nothing in practice. It is thoroughly lifeless. “ ( James 2:12-17 )

Some of you might be of the age to remember a time prior to the Vatican II council, when before Sacrosanctum Concillium the Old Testament was not read during Holy Mass. It is important to read and gain an understanding of Old Testament scripture in order to gain understanding of the New Testament and the setting behind which the New Testament scripture is written and in some cases why.

Why do I bring this up ? …. Good question , lets take a look !

This New Testament reading, talks about being merciful, generous, and loving towards our brothers and sisters who have little , less, or nothing, in relation to where we have been blessed. If we are honest with ourselves, we can nearly always find someone who is near to us who is worse off, or in more dire straits than we are. You don’t even need to go far to find someone who is in need. A quick drive or walk around your own neighborhood with an open mind and heart, will enlighten you.

Possibly, you live in a very nice neighborhood, a trip into another part of your town, or area, will assuredly show you the needs present in our lives. Needless to say, it is not a difficult thing to do.

But wait ! There is more… We know there is a problem, the question becomes our response to that problem.

The scripture passage that usually comes to mind after this one is that “ The poor are always with you”

This passage is at times used by people to justify inaction, or to solidify their fears or presuppositions regarding those who are in need.

God never intended the inequality of mankind. when placed in the backdrop of Deuteronomy 15: 1-11 we can then understand that God never intended the kind of class status, and inequity created out of greed, or hatred, or prejudice etc. It is up to us to be like the unnamed woman in the beginning of the passion narrative who takes the very expensive jar of perfumed oil to anoint Jesus with.

It is in this spirit, that we need to be able to provide for our brothers and sisters, to help them along their way towards Heaven.

It is also important to remember that in gauging how we are to be the conduit of the blessings we have received, that we consider the method as well. The method of delivery must be done in such a way that the brother or sister in need, will not only have some immediate need met, but done in a way that they have a path to grow, and not only provide for themselves, but to preserve the dignity of the human person as a child of God.

You have become the blessing that you received from God, you must be the conduit of the blessing so that each person you share with, is permitted to become the blessing that they also have received.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

I Will Open Your Graves…

June 16, 2018

Thus says the Lord God: O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them, and bring you back to the land of Israel,. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and have you rise from them, O my people ! I will put my spirit in you that you may live , and I will settle you upon your land; thus you shall know that I am the Lord, I have promised, and I will do it , says the Lord.”

(Ezekiel 37:12b-14 )

Here again, reading this passage, and taking it on it’s own, you might be tempted to believe that this passage is about the 2nd coming. It is not. Whenever we have the opportunity to be presented with scriptural passages one needs to go back and get the “ story behind the story” ( Thank you Fr. John for drilling that indelibly into the brain !)

This story , and this passage, take place in the backdrop of the Babylonian exile and enslavement of a vast majority of the Jews. To be sure, the discussion of what is happening above is the Lord letting Israel know, that it will be restored.. The coming out of the graves here, has 2 applications. The first are for those who are in fact under the rule of the king of Babylon. There were however, others who were not under Babylonian rule, but who were none the less displaced from their homelands and also “in the grave” from loss of both their patriotic and spiritual homeland.

In the passage just previous to this , it says that Israel is “cut off” meaning that it has nothing to give it hope at all.

This passage also reaffirms his promise, that as their God, He will restore Israel, bringing an end to their exile, and thereby confirming their faith.

So the question is… “ Where does that fit into your life ?” .

I am sure that we can all relate to this passage. Are you struggling with something ?

Do you feel like your in a “dry patch” spiritually ? Maybe you feel like you are alone or that God has not answered some prayer for something you want or need ?

Possibly, you are just having a ruff time of it. Things are not going well.

It’s funny how life for us is really not all that different. The same sort of issues face us today. Things are going along OK, and your making your way along and things seem to be going well, and then all of a sudden.. they are not so great. Something happens either from something we did , or something that happens to us and things are not good .. not good at all. Maybe you, like the Israelites, feel like you have lost hope.. or even lost your faith. ?

I am here to tell you to listen to the story of Israel. Listen and have faith !

Know that God has not abandoned you in your struggles, or in your life ! On the contrary, it is when we are going through these struggles, when we are going through the pains and challenges of life that God is yet even closer ! Working for what is best for you.

Just like the exiles, He will bring you through your struggles, through your battles. He will bring you back to Him and through it make you stronger. He will also put the fire of faith within you, and give you strength and courage.

You will then tell your story of this journey in word, or in deed, so that you can show others what it is that God has done in your life.

Be still and KNOW that I AM GOD !

May God give you the gift of His peace !

The Blessing of Paul…

June 2, 2018

“ May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus our Lord, furnish you with all that is good, that you may do His will. Through Jesus Christ may He carry out in you all that is pleasing to Him. To Christ be glory forever ! Amen. “ (Hebrews 13:20-21)

So, what is going on with this scripture ? It sounds good.. and it is uplifting and pretty much sounds like your run of the mill kind of blessing. OK.. lets get some more detail.

This passage is written tot he Hebrews, from Paul who is with the Gentiles and busy trying to win converts there. So it sort of begs the question why is it that he his busy writing letters to the Hebrews when that not really the assignment he was given, per se ?

Here again, you need to take a look at “ the story…. behind the story”. !

Paul, who was a Jew, was not just your run of the mill Jew. Oh no ! Prior to his conversion, he was extremely well trained in the law of the Jewish faith, and so much so that he gained great renown as an orator and debater of the law, and so much so that he was known to confuse and bewilder his challengers with great ease. He became one of the “go to guys” for matters of the law.

Now you might imagine that after his conversion, he started preaching against the law which made the leaders of the faith hate him with great zeal. So because of that, they would not have accepted him or his words and would likely have beat him, thrown him in jail, or killed him, as they had done with many other of the disciples.

God in his infinite wisdom, sent Paul amongst the Gentiles in order that the Word would spread according to His will. Paul, although do the work laid out for him, still loved the Jews, and longed to preach the faith to them as well.

His prayer for them was that God would furnish what ever was necessary to do His will. This is important. He is not praying for them to have all they WANT, or all they think that they need, but for what is necessary to complete God’s will in their lives.

Sometimes our prayer lives enter into a path to a certain resolution. Possibly, the prayers take the form of a particular need, or desire. As we know, things do not always work out that we are given what it is that our human desire wants.. A friend used to say “ You don’t always know what God saves you FROM”. How true it is. We may not receive what we want, but what we receive is for our good, AND for the bringing about of the Kingdom. We may not see it,, or understand it. It is so, none the less.

In our lives our prayer should include, the desires of our hearts, because like we would talk to a brother or sister, we lay bare our desires for a given situation, even if it is reluctantly. We do so because we love God. He already knows the desires of our hearts, but this is part of the relationship we have. We should pray for those desires, yes, but we should pray for whatever is the will of God to prevail and that we too, are given what is needed, to complete our calling.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

On Carrying Your Cross…

May 26, 2018

“Look on the needs of the saints as your own; be generous in offering hospitality . Bless your persecutors; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep with those who weep.

Have the same attitude toward all. Put away ambitious thoughts and associate with those who are lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never repay injury with injury. See that your conduct is honorable in the eyes of all. If possible, live peaceably with everyone. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves; leave that to God’s wrath, for it is written” Vengeance is mine; I will repay says the Lord”. But “ if your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink; by doing this you will heap burning coals upon his head” Do no be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good.” ( Romans 12:13 – 21 )

There is, in our spiritual lives, an ever present struggle. This struggle takes the form of knowledge and application. We have both the ideal, and the reality. The ideal is that we become saints, the reality is the struggles we face to get to that point. You may think that being a saint is to grand a thought, too lofty a goal, to much to even hope for. Let me assure you that it is not.

For a moment lets change that paradigm, and lets say that the ideal is living your life exactly as Jesus told the disciples to do. We are going to love everyone.. OK.. so I failed there.. maybe I will do better with the next one.. Nope.. That boss at work, who is a jerk. I have to love HIM ? Even when he is directing his attitude in my direction ? Still ? Really ? OK. Well I can’t stand him. So the answer to the question is, I will just avoid him and that way I can just not have to deal with it.. and I can “love” him from far away.. FAR FAR away..

How would it have worked out for us, if while Jesus was going through his agony in the garden, he knelt down and said “ Father, I am just not feeling the whole crucifixion thing. I think I will save these folks from one of those nice seaside resorts with palm trees and handmaids to wait on me.. that sound good to you ? “.

Going through the trials and tribulations that we have are “good” for us. In same way that disciplining a child is “good” for them. They wont like it to be sure. It will not be pleasant. In the end, however, they will come to understand why it was good, and they will tell others about the experience more than likely.

In the same way, we have crosses we carry. Most of them are not pleasant, and some feel horrible and we really seek to find some reasonable explanation for them. We , we cry, we might feel defeated. In the end however, we come out the other side, and no, we might not have the answer to why but, we will have learned something, and hopefully gotten some insight into our spiritual lives.

Just like our Lord, your cross is visible. Possibly not to all, but to some. Your cross and your response to the cross you carry may also be the testament for another person, a lesson on how to carry their own cross. Everyone has one, at every stage of life.

Finally, the cross that every person of faith carries, is the struggle to bring our spiritual world into our earthly existence. To be sure the more you are aware of what you are called to, the greater that cross is, however, at the same time, as large as that cross might seem, not only are you given the spiritual muscle to carry it. Just as Simon helped Jesus carry his cross, God places people in our lives to do just that. It could be priest, or a brother or sister who cares, or it just might be someone you witnessed carrying their cross. Consider this as you carry your own.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Control and Treasure…

May 10, 2018

“There is a certain spiritual wisdom which we express among the spiritually mature. It is not a wisdom of this age, however, not of the rulers of this age, who are men headed for destruction. No, what we utter is God’s wisdom: a mysterious, a hidden wisdom. God planned it before all ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age know the mystery; if they had know it, they would never have crucified the Lord of Glory. Of this wisdom it is written :

“ Eye has not seen, ear has not heard,
nor has it so much as dawned on man
what God has prepared for those who love him “

Yet God has revealed this wisdom to us through the Spirit. “ ( 1 Corinthians 2:6 )

No matter how much things change, they are exactly the same. The folly of mankind lived out suffering growing from some misguided notion, that the world has better things to offer us, if we can control more of it. If we own more of it… If we exercise dominion over more of it !

It is something that we tell our children.. make sure you get a good education.. no one can take that from you.. Make sure you have enough education because it will open doors for you, it will give you a job so you wont have to work, or work so hard. Climb the ladder, become the boss, or own your own place so YOU can be the boss, and then no one can control what you do ! You need to get ahead.
You need more, so that you have a comfortable life. So that you have more control over your life.

In some fields of work, the ego, the control, and the ability to lord that over others is more prevalent. It is there from the smallest businesses… to the largest of corporations, to governments, all wanting to exercise control to see who will “win”.

Lets look for a moment at WHY it is that this thought process is not a bad thing in theory, however the practice is where we lost something important.

It starts with what we receive. You did not get your job, or your education, or your opportunity on your own. There were people who sacrificed, people who taught, people who cared, and people who provided for you to get where you are. While it may be true that you may have worked hard to get where you are, and you too may have sacrificed, and labored to get where you are, it was there, because someone else built it, bought it, made it, or taught it into being so that you might avail yourself of it.

At the very core of those opportunities is God. God in his infinite wisdom granted to you life. Things were set before you so that you have the opportunity to grow. You accept or deny either part of that reality, and you have not fulfilled your purpose.

Consider for a moment that when you accept those gifts that are placed before you, that there is a responsibility that comes with those gifts. There was a book/movie that quipped “ With great power comes great responsibility…” I tell you that you have no power, save for the free will you were given to make one decision, whether to accept the gift of faith, or not. Even THAT power was given to you so that you have an opportunity.

With the gift that was given to you, comes at a cost. The cost of being a disciple means that you have a responsibility to your brothers and sisters. To care for them.. To love them… To feed and clothe them…
to help them in this world, along their own path. To share, and to teach… and to do as much of that as you can in the short time we are given on this earth.

Oscar Wilde I believe was the one who said a man is judged by the quality of his enemies. I tell you this is not true. I can tell you, that man is judged by his capacity for LOVE and his journey of faith.

At the end of our earthly life. God has assured us that we will not be able to comprehend the level of riches that await us in heaven.. I can testify, that the greatest treasure I have is the love that Jesus has for me and you.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

On Being a Builder..

March 30, 2018

“Every one of us will have to give an account of himself before God. Therefore we must no longer pass judgment on one another. Instead you should resolve to put no stumbling block or hindrance in your brothers way. The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating or drinking, but of justice, peace, and the joy that is given by the Holy Spirit. Whoever serves Christ in this way pleases God and wins the esteem of men. Let us the, make it our aim to work for peace and to strengthen one another.”
(Romans 14:12-19)

There is so much food for thought here.. So much to be taken in not only in our own view of the world around us, but to look within, at the state of our own souls…

Each one of us will have to give an account to God, for what it is that we have done in the course of our lives. Let’s be honest… Looking back over the course of our lives, there are for each and every one of us moments where we have stumbled, fell, or just plain hurled ourselves into some parts of our lives we would just as soon forget. Then, there is that one family member, or that one friend, or one person who just would just as soon, not allow that particular moment to fade into oblivion.

It’s all up there.. in the volumes of our lives. Consider for a moment, if the last person we did not show the face of Christ to…. became the judge.. or became the prosecutor when we stand before the Seat of Mercy ? The last person we were unkind to… the last person we judged…. the last one to whom we forgot who and what we are, and unleashed our temperament upon..

To be clear, it is not that God is unloving, or unforgiving, think of it this way When you were a child, and you did something wrong. You at some point ended up standing in front of your parent, or teacher or whoever it was, and admitted to what ever it happened to have been. You felt terrible, horrible, wretched. Then after a time that person came to you,and told you that you were forgiven for what ever it was that you did. It was terrible, and ultimately that person came to forgive you,

And consider this… Jesus came and provided us a blueprint…. a model to follow. Jesus planned for us.. God planned for us from the very beginning a way for us to be with Him. There was the Agony in the Garden… Our lives are a reflection of the both the entrance to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the joys and the triumphs of our lives, and then the Agony where we have not fared so well, not only in our misfortunes, but in our spiritual failings. This Agony.. is part of our earthly life. How many times have we prayed to allow one “cup” or another to pass us by ?

We also have death and judgment, In death there is a worldly judgment. In this passage it says that, if you conduct yourself in this way… then you will please God, “ and the esteem of men”. People will think and say many things about you when you depart the earth. I would like to think that those who are left, will be kind and say good things. There might be some who do not. It should give you comfort to know that it was no different for Christ. After he was gone, not everyone said good things about Him.

Our God is a loving God. For those who have faith, and whose hearts belong to Him, He has already assured forgiveness for our failures. His request of us, is to work for Peace, Justice, and Joy. Notice how PEACE comes first ? We need to cease being a world where entitlement and self-victimization are the center stage of our lives. We need to move towards being peacemakers, Building bridges both in our lives and in our hearts. We must move towards being builders. Building lives, and building hearts, and saving souls, one seed at a time !

May God give you the gift of His peace !