So there we have it!!
Um…I think Fr. Mike lost me in his opening remarks here…so let’s just listen…
Something about pet sins or pet issues
We want to hold onto our will as opposed to the Church that teaches us, leads us, and guides us
Here is the encouragement not to do that
We need to be docile to the Lord and His Church for our own salvation
Also for the salvation of others
Yes, our faith is personal and we have a personal relationship with the God who is Love
At the same time, our faith cannot be private
Our faith is communal
What did Jesus say?
He said basically that you do not light a lamp and put it under a bushel basket
You put it in a place where it can shine for all to see
A city set on a hill cannot be hidden
You are the light of the world, you are the salt of the earth
We have to give witness to the Lord
We have to give witness to His goodness by a life that is transformed
We do not do this just to be seen
We have to allow the way that God has transformed our hearts and transformed the way we live to allow us to live that freely
By living that freely, we become witnesses
Paragraph 2044 says, “The fidelity of the baptized is a primordial condition for the proclamation of the Gospel and for the Church’s mission in the world. In order that the message of salvation can show the power of its truth and radiance before men, it must be authenticated by the witness of the life of Christians. ‘The witness of a Christian life and good works done in a supernatural spirit have great power to draw men to the faith and to God.’”
The message of salvation is authenticated when our lives are transformed
Because we are just as broken as everyone else
We are just as needy as everyone else
We have been made so good in God’s image
We are broken and fallen
We are not depraved but we are deprived of God’s glory
When we demonstrate that we live in such a way that our lives have been transformed by the way we live, we reveal the Power of God
We reveal that the message of Jesus Christ and the Power of the Holy Spirit truly works and is authenticated in our lives
Let’s listen to Fr. Mike’s story about talking to people…
You would have more joy than you would have if you didn’t have Jesus
How can we be a witness to Jesus?
How is it possible that our lives could authenticate the truth of the Gospel when we look at ourselves and we have so many worries?
We are called to have joy but there are so many things that bring us down
We are called to have wisdom but sometimes we can feel like fools
We are supposed to be gentle but we can be really abrasive
The Lord God has given us more gentleness than we would have if we didn’t have Him
The fact that we don’t have as much as we want and need is a reminder that WE STILL NEED GOD
THAT IS GOOD NEWS!!
God still working on us is a good thing because it reminds us that WE STILL NEED GOD’S GRACE
It reminds us that GOD IS NOT DONE WITH US YET!!
It reminds us that WE STILL HAVE SO FAR TO GO!!
It brings us back to this place of humility
“Father, I still need your help.”
If the call is to be a missionary witness by our moral lives that have been transformed and we have to keep going to Confession for the same things, how can we possibly be a missionary witness?
The witness here is HUMILITY
The witness here is PERSEVERANCE
The witness here is TO NOT STOP ASKING GOD FOR HELP
Going back to the Lord is part of the missionary witness
Knowing how deeply and how profoundly you need the Lord God is part of the missionary witness
Do not give in to discouragement
Do not give in to despair
Do not give up
LIVE IN HOPE AND PERSEVERANCE!!
LIVE IN HUMILITY!!
These are also part of the missionary witness that authenticates the Gospel
Yes, it would be amazing if all of us were perfect and shining paragons of virtue
We are not
In God’s plan, that is a good thing
The fact that we are very broken people who still need the Lord Jesus for every moment and every breath
We need to keep going back to Him and say, “God, here I am again in Confession. Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been weeks since my last Confession. I need your grace again because I am not the witness that I want to be.”
Even that is bearing witness to God’s goodness
It also reminds all of us that our moral lives are not private
It gives witness to something
We can say, “My moral life is my business. Whose business is it that whether I agree with the Church, believe the Church, consent to the Church’s teachings?”
Remember that you have a personal relationship with God, but it is not a private relationship
Because we are Christians, we are witnesses to the world
Therefore, our actions have an impact on the world
Because of that, we are not free to pick and choose what we are willing to accept, willing to believe, willing to embrace when it comes to the Church’s teaching or the Lord’s teaching
We have to give witness TO THE WHOLE THING
Keep this in mind as we walk the Ten Commandments
We are going to walk forward and say, “Ok, Lord. Heal my heart. Teach me. Guide me. Lead me. Guard me. Protect me. Give me the grace to be able to say YES to you in all things.”
It is not just our salvation that is at stake
Our YES to the Lord also bears witness to the Lord’s Power, and the Lord’s Truth, and the Lord’s goodness and love to the world
THAT IS WHAT IS AT STAKE!!
The mission of the Church, which is the mission of Jesus Christ, is at stake when it comes to the moral life
“When I have fallen, help me, Lord, to be faithful in coming back to you.”
That is a challenge and we need God’s grace every step along the way
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!