Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Long Long Way From Home

Anyone who knows me well will testify I'm a huge Foreigner fan.  When I was sixteen and living in southern California, my parents allowed me to drive from Ventura to Los Angeles with some friends to see them in concert.  It was their Double Vision tour in 1978 and the first concert I had ever been to.  I knew every word to every song.  Foreigner was my escape music.  When my mother was either very manic or severely depressed, no doubt you would hear Foreigner's Long Long Way From Home blaring behind my locked bedroom door.

At a recent Foreigner concert (only one original member remains, Mick Jones), my friend Karen and I had amazing second row seats while my daughter and her husband sat in the row behind.  As they were leaving the stage after the final song, the guitar players were throwing picks out into the audience and the drummer his drumsticks.   I was so excited to catch one of the drumsticks!  As soon as I grabbed it, a young girl next to me tried to grab it out of my hands!  I just looked at her and shook my head no.  As soon as she let go, the older woman on my other side grabbed it!  I calmly smiled at her and shook my head no, again.  This was my all time favorite band and I wasn't about to let it go!  How old am I?

Standing up for our belief in Jesus is kind of like my Foreigner drumstick.  Worth fighting for.  Actually, Jesus is worth dying for.  And the three men in today's first reading (Dn 3:14-20, 91-91, 95) refused to worship any other god except their own God.  Their faith so strong they were willing to die before they would ever renounce their Maker:

King Nebuchadnezzar's face became livid with utter rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual and had some of the strongest men in his army bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and cast them into the white-hot furnace.

Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles, "Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?" "Assuredly, O king," they answered. "But," he replied, "I see four men unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God." Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent his angel to deliver the servants who trusted in him; they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God."

We are in an age of disobedience to God. Just turn on the news or read about the government trying to take away our religious freedom.  Read about the HHS mandate (  Christians, put God first!  Live by His rules only. Not by what makes your life easier or what you think you deserve!  Stand up for Christ who died for us!  Why is this concept so hard to understand?  Standing up for Christ may not always be politically correct, but He is worth any ridicule or threat.

In Volume Two, the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, our Lord explains loyalty to Him in a very clear manner:

"My will for you includes peace, and peace will settle upon you as you begin to follow Me. My child, I have many enemies and few friends. May I call you My friend? Will you stand by Me during these days of disobedience? Please, join your heart to My heart and join your will to My will. Together We can save souls. My gratitude flows out to you and you will never understand the power of a grateful God. Truly, I am a slave to My children who serve Me, despite difficulty and ridicule. If I were dragging My cross through your town, surrounded by angry mobs, would you watch from a safe distance? Or would you stand with Me, taking a share of the weight of that cross? My child, do not fear if you answered from weakness. If you come to Me and let Me change you, I can make of you the most loyal and courageous servant."

Lay apostles, today, choose Christ.  Stand up for Him despite adversity.  For truly our salvation depends on Him and Him alone.  Put your trust in Him. Stick with your core convictions even when challenged.

Thank you, Lord, for giving me the courage to fight for You, regardless.  I know I am a Long Long Way From Home, but with You, I can endure any trial.

God bless,

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