Saturday, November 1, 2008
Today we celebrate all souls day. In the readings we hear a message that is full of hope. This hope is based upon the love of God. Because of Jesus we have faith in Gods mercy. In Jesus we hear that we belong to God. This is a great comfort. However with love comes responsibility. They always go together, love and responsibility. Today many people, even Catholics say that God is love. They trust in his love, but they do not take the responsibility that comes with being loved by God. In other words they do not listen to or live by the teaching of the Church. They make excuses for their situations and claim; God loves me he would not be upset with what I am doing. Christ instituted the Church. He gave us the Holy Spirit to guide the Church and he gave the Church the authority to preach and teach the truth of the Gospel. We hear today from the book of Wisdom “Grace and Mercy are with his holy ones and his care is with his elect.” If we are his elect then we have a responsibility to live holy lives. How many of you are living holy lives? If we are his elect then we have the responsibility of living lives of grace and mercy. How often do you pray? How often do you go to Confession? How often do you fast? How often do you pray the Rosary? How often do you give a substantial amount of money in the collection? You know you should give more every week than it takes to bring your whole family to McDonalds. How well are you living up to your responsibilities? These are not rules made up by the Church. Fasting, Prayer, and Alms Giving are the traditional ways of growing in holiness from the time of Christ. If you believe God loves you then you have a responsibility to live lives of grace and mercy. You cannot ignore his love and think everything is okay between you and God. When Paul writes to the Romans, “we have now received reconciliation,” he is urging the Roman Christians to live according to the truth of their life in Christ. In the Gospel Jesus says that everyone who sees and believes in him will have eternal life. This is true, but we have to live as if we are believers. We cannot just say we believe and then live according to the ways of the world. You cannot say you are a Cowboys fan and then walk around wearing a Giants jersey. You cannot say you love the Cowboys but not even care if they win or lose. But many think that with God and the Church these things are possible. I live my life as I want and the priest and God better give me what I want when I want. I say I am a Catholic and that is enough, I do not have to act like one. I love God, he knows what is in my heart I can skip Mass whenever I want, I do not have to go to Confession, and I do not have to support the Church. In this we are not living according to the responsibility of love. Today we pray for the dead because they need it. All of us are going to be judged someday when we die. We pray for the dead. It is our responsibility. We pray that God have mercy upon them and forgive them, and that he allow them to enter Heaven. We too will come face to face with God and will need the prayers of the Church. But today we can begin to live according to the responsibility we have because God loves us. We believe in him and are promised mercy when we die, but we cannot trust in this promise when we die if we do not live according to this promise in our daily life today.