03/10/2019 - "SHINE LIKE LIGHTS IN THE WORLD AS YOU HOLD ON TO THE WORD OF LIFE"

“SHINE LIKE LIGHTS IN THE WORLD AS YOU HOLD ON TO THE WORD OF LIFE”

Last Sunday, our Lord challenged us to reflect upon the relationship between our mission to unleash the Gospel and the words we speak. The amazing gift of faith, of encountering Jesus and believing in Him, comes through hearing, so it only makes sense that the words we speak are going to be important to our mission. When others hear you speak, what do they hear? Who or what are you bearing witness to?

HOLY MASS AND OUR MISSION!

Every Sunday, as Pope Benedict and our Archbishop have shown us, the relationship between what happens in Church and our mission comes to life. The love we celebrate demands to be shared with others. In our Church, we are confident that life-changing encounters with Jesus takes place. What the world needs most is God’s love and we are called to bear witness to that love! In Church, the Gospel passage, John 3:16 comes to life and is accomplished. God so loved the World that He gave us His only begotten Son! Through our celebration of the Eucharist, our Father truly gives us His Son. We receive the Body and Blood of our Savior as a tangible and real sign of our Father’s love. Our Father sent us His Son so that all who believe in Him might live forever. Jesus came not to judge or condemn the world but to save the world. We are called to continue the mission of Jesus to save the world, to foster others encountering Him and to bringing others to our Father.

THE LOVE OF CHRIST URGES US ON!

Our homily series, the love of Christ urges us on, had as a main goal to encourage you to take little steps so as to allow the love and light we celebrate in Church to transform your daily lives. We saw together that a strong reliance on daily prayer, daily contact with the Word of God, and the nourishment we receive from the Sacraments urges us to love others as Jesus loves us. So, as we move forward, Deacon Charlie, Fr. Peter and I will be revisiting the themes of our homily series to once again encourage and inspire you to allow the light of Jesus to fill your hearts and lives.

In last Sunday’s Gospel, our Lord revealed His goal: a disciple fully trained becomes like a teacher. You and I can truly become like Jesus. And it starts with our faithfulness to our life of prayer, our contact with His Word, and encountering Him in the Sacraments. As this transformation takes place, we become more and more like Jesus. Our heart becomes more and more filled with Him and His love! Then, something amazing happens: when others hear us, they hear Him! Our words are anointed with wisdom and power. Our words become instruments that open others to the gift of faith!

BAD FRUITS OF ORIGINAL SIN

Jesus calls us to be vigilant about the words we speak and our attitude. When we speak words of judgment and condemnation, those words are like a bucket of ice water that can extinguish the light of Christ. When we speak words of judgment and condemnation, others do not hear Jesus, but they hear our enemy. Judging and condemning are fruits of original sin. It was the trap of our enemy: the temptation to become like God and be the ones to judge between good and evil. When we judge and condemn, we are about as far away from the Gospel as we could ever be. Remember, Jesus came to save, not to judge and condemn.

LET’S HELP OTHERS RETURN HOME!

Our Father loves all His children. His love and mercy have the power to reconcile all to Himself. He desires all His prodigal children to come home. When you encounter a prodigal, a person that has really messed up in life, made huge mistakes, what do your words reveal? Do your words become like your foot pressing on his neck, keeping him down on the ground? We will give an account of all our words, especially the words we spoke to our Father’s prodigal children.

To be faithful to what we have received in Jesus and to fulfill our mission, let us daily recommit to speak words that are kind, loving, affirming and encouraging. When we catch ourselves judging and condemning others, let us repent and commit to speaking positively. Through our words, let us allow the light of Jesus to shine and warm hearts!

As we enter the first full week of Lent, let us keep each other in prayer that we may serve others as humbly as Jesus served his disciples.

Fr. Michael