Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Two Hands Children

“Do everything without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like lights in the world, as you hold on to the word of life…” These are the words of St. Paul to the Philippians, but they are timely for us today. We too live in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. We truly are living in the midst of a culture of death where the human person is constantly degraded. A culture that teaches that the greatest virtue one can practice is that of tolerance to the many forms of degradation that people subject themselves to. The greater the degradation the greater is the tolerance required. The culture of death rejoices in the slavery that so many have chosen; to live in denial of God, to confuse license with freedom, to abandon the love of neighbor for self love and the reduction of others to that of objects for pleasure or ridicule. In such a dismal culture St. Paul calls us to shine like lights by holding onto the Word of life. Jesus is the Word of Life. We must hold on to Him with both hands. In such darkness even a little light has great affect. Each one of us then is called to be light in the world. But we do not give off our own light. Because we hold onto the Word, because we hold onto Jesus, we shine with the light of His Grace. That Grace that He poured into our hearts, which is His Love and Mercy. People will not turn away from their crooked and perverse ways unless they see something better. We cannot simply tell them what they should or should not do. We must show them. Many good Catholics cannot because they are not holding onto the Word of Life. Instead they are clinging to their possessions, and their distractions, and their comfortable way of life that includes toying with and engaging in many of the pleasures offered by the culture of death. To hold onto the Word of Life is a radical abandonment to the Loving Mercy of Jesus. To allow Jesus to be the beginning, the middle, and the end of all that we do. If not, those caught up in the tolerant culture of death, will simply tolerate another way of living but will never recognize the Catholic way as the Way of Life. The greatest way to live without blemish is to live a Sacramental life. By going to Confession regularly and frequently attending the Mass, we are holding on to Jesus with both hands. He gives us His Life and Light to shine in us which draws those who are sick of the emptiness that tolerance and license feeds. It is difficult to hold onto the Word of Life, to make Jesus the center of all that we are. But we are not alone; this has been the Catholic Way since the very beginning of the Church. St. Paul is writing to encourage the Philippians nearly 2000 years ago. Like the Philippians we have been given the Holy Spirit to be our Advocate and Blessed Mother to be our example. In praying the Rosary, Mary teaches us how to listen to the Holy Spirit and respond to the Loving Mercy of Jesus. It will become easier to live the Way of Life even in the midst of the culture of death for we will not only know but we will believe God our Father loves us. We will come to believe that we are His beloved children.

1 comment:

iknowyahwehsaves said...

Father Jim,

This is definitely the message I needed so much today! After spending practically the whole day feeling sick and depressed about the results of the election, I now feel ready again to try to keep my focus on Jesus, my relationship with Him, and on how He wants to shine through me in this dark world.