Saturday, October 11, 2008
Sunday 28th week
"There is nothing that I cannot master with the help of the One who gives me strength" During this year of St. Paul we would do well to listen to these words. Jesus gives us strength. It is in knowing His love that Paul finds strength. Where do you find your strength? Often times we look to ourselves and our own abilities. We think that we should know better. We think that we should be able to handle things. We think that we should be able to get over things. Paul's example shows us that those thoughts could not be further from the truth. Paul relies upon the love of Jesus. Paul is sustained by the love of Jesus. He does not and he cannot rely only upon himself. These days all of us are infected with a terrible illness of the modern world. We are so self centered. We want to heal ourselves. We want to better ourselves. We want to fix ourselves and those we love. We want to understand ourselves. We want to glorify ourselves. We want to pleasure ourselves. In pursuing this self-centered lifestyle we find only isolation and misery. We are so isolated and alone that instead of loving others and living in community, we use others and destroy community. This leads to death. If you do not believe me look at our society. Pornography, Casual Sex, Abortion, Contraception, Divorce and Suicide are now all common place. They all take place in our homes and in our families. This infection is tearing at our very souls. We are not like the people in the first reading today who say "See, this is our God in whom we hoped for salvation, the Lord is the one in whom we hoped." We do not look to God for help or hope. We look to ourselves. In doing so we are like the people in the Gospel. We refuse the Lord's invitation. But our Lord does not give up hope. Our Lord does not abandon us. The invitation is again offered. Trust in me. Let me be your strength. Imitate Paul and let me sustain you. How do we do this? The readings today speak about a banquet. This clearly refers to the Eucharist but also to all the Sacraments. This is where we can find true strength. In preparing for the Sacraments we must have a prayer life. This includes reading the Bible and praying the Rosary. We must begin the practice of going to Confession regularly. All in preparation to receive Jesus our strength each week in the Eucharist. These practices are simple and each one of you has the ability to do them. In prayer and the Sacramental life the sickness of isolation will be destroyed. This is because you will begin to live in communion with your Lord, and not just go to communion on Sundays. However this is not enough. For we are not called to simply do this on our own. Husbands should pray with their wives and wives with their husbands. Fathers and mothers should pray with their children. Families should come not only to Church together but also to confession together. Children can pray with their friends. Boyfriend and girlfriends as well. In all things, like the people in the first reading we should look to the Lord. We need to begin living like St. Paul and constantly look to our Lord for strength. In doing so we will no longer be isolated, but not only that, in trusting in the love of Jesus we will be comforted and strengthened in all our struggles. We will not have to be afraid of the future for we will live in our Lord's Loving Mercy each day of our life.