10/14/2018 - "IN THE BEGINNING"
“IN THE BEGINNING”
God’s Word, the Holy Bible, is such a tremendous gift! It is God’s Most Holy Word, it is alive, it gives life and it sanctifies us! Last Sunday, our first reading was drawn from the first three chapters of the Book of Genesis. In these three amazing chapters, our Father speaks to us about our origin, where we came from. We discover who He is; why He created us; and also, in chapter 3, we discover the source of all discord, evil, and division.
The first three chapters of Genesis reveal to us that our God is Good! He is awesome! He created us so that He might share His eternal life, His happiness with us. He created us in His image and likeness and everything He does or says is for our good. When He noticed that Adam was lonely, He said: it is not good for man to be alone! So out of His pure goodness, He created Eve to be a soulmate of Adam. He created us male and female! This glorious complementary relationship between husband and wife!
Because He created us free so that we could choose to love Him with all our being, it is possible for us to say no to Him. And someone did: the evil one, the father of lies, Satan. He rejected God’s plan and providence. He set himself in opposition to the living God. Then he tempted Adam and Eve to mistrust our Father’s loving goodness: God is jealous. He is not willing to share everything with you, He is holding back. Adam and Eve then sinned and rebelled against the Lord God, breaking their covenant with them. This sin, together with the sin of Satan are the origin of death, suffering, tragedy, strife, division, sickness, you name it! So these first three chapters of Genesis are so foundational. God is not the origin of death, suffering and sickness. He always sets Himself in opposition to all that is not His handiwork!
IS GENESIS JUST A CUTE STORY?
Next, we turned to the second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Hebrews. What St. Paul told us about Jesus and what He did for us is an awesome confirmation of the truth of those first three chapters of Genesis. You, yes you, are so important and mean so much to our Lord God, that He sent you His Son, Jesus, to become man in the womb of the Virgin Mary so that He might taste death on your behalf. Yes! Jesus bore the consequences of all our sins. He bore all the punishment and wrath that the evil one could bring against us on account of our sins. Jesus paid the price of our sins! And, by rising from the dead, He destroyed Satan’s death grip and dominion over us. We no longer have to live our lives in fear of death!
EVERYTHING JESUS SAYS OR DOES IS FOR OUR GOOD!
This little journey of faith, that God’s Word led us on, gives us an insight to the Gospel. God is Good! And everything He says and does is truly for our good. So, when we encounter a “tough” or “difficult” saying of Jesus in the Gospel, faith compels us to embrace it with trust as being for our good.
In fact, at the heart of last Sunday’s Gospel was Jesus revealing to us the way to heaven. The only way to get home is to embrace a childlike trust in our Father’s loving goodness. As a child, we lift our arms to our Father and so desire Him to take us unto Himself so that we might be totally His!
In the Gospel, our Lord spoke a word of power and authority over our lives. For those of you who are married, He encourages you to be faithful to your marriage vows. Be grateful every day to the Lord for the gift of your spouse. Strive to show love and honor every day to your spouse! And, repent! Repent of selfish and controlling behavior!
To those of you who are divorced: your life is not a failure! You have been through a traumatic experience of a broken relationship. You are not junk, your life has such value and meaning in our Lord’s eyes. He wants you to draw near to Him so He might be your Savior: heal your wounds and give you hope by confirming His plan in your life: His plan to share His eternal life with you and to lead you through life to our heavenly homeland!
To those of you who are divorced and went on to be civilly remarried: Jesus’ Words reveal that there is an aspect of your life that is not in harmony with His teaching and plan. He DOES NOT STAND AGAINST YOU AS A JUDGE AND EXECUTIONER! He wants you to turn to Him and allow Him to be your Savior. As I mentioned, if you have been divorced and remarried, please reach out to myself, Deacon Charlie, or Fr. Peter. We will listen with love and compassion and then offer our hand to guide you on the path towards bringing your relationship into harmony with God’s plan for you! The last time I made this appeal, a few couples responded, I am so grateful that our Lord and His Holy Church were able to bring healing, peace, and resolution!
Every Sunday, the highlight of our week and life, our Father prepares His Table and invites us to draw near to the altar. When we do, we see that our Father does not hold anything back! He gives us absolutely everything! He gives us His Son, Jesus, in the Sacrament of His Most Holy Body and Blood! God is Good! May our lives and our attitudes reflect this amazing and faithful love of our God!
Where we are rightly following you, Lord, keep us strong; where we are in the wrong, healing Spirit, please reform us and help to keep each other in prayer.