Faith is a gift. I never understood the depth of that statement until I found this apostolate. Every day we come across people who don't believe in God, who have no desire to believe in God, because it means changing their heart. Some are so wounded, they blame God for their problems. No accountability, no responsibility for their actions. They seek to judge others because it makes them feel better about themselves. Well, the simple Truth is we ARE all accountable and responsible for our actions. And yes, sometimes our choices are not stellar. But, I have discovered something along my journey in life . . . I was given the gift of faith, and that I owe to my mother. I have never doubted God's existence. I believe in God as sure as I have a nose on my face . . . always there with me no matter where I go! So, if you've been given the gift of faith and only partially opened the gift, it's time to take the lid off and begin receiving all the graces from it!
Todays Gospel (Luke 11:29-32) provides a simple truth, stop searching for proof of God's existence, and look to His Son for confirmation:
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”
In Anne a lay apostle's book Lessons in Love, she beautifully illustrates the importance of doing all for His Glory:
"I often think of St. John the apostle at the foot of the cross. We could look at St. John’s role in the Passion and think correctly, ‘My goodness, what a privileged position St. John was awarded.’ In considering the matter, one might wonder what qualified St. John to accompany Jesus and Mary so intimately on this torturous day. What we know about St. John is that he was remembered by the purity of his love. He is called the Lord’s beloved apostle. What did love prompt him to do that day that nobody else did? He showed up, first of all, and then he stayed. The day got uglier and uglier, the crowds more venomous. It did not appear to be a day of triumph, even though we know it turned out to be so. St. John showed up, and he stayed. Was Jesus able to verbalize his tremendous gratitude to John at the time of His Passion? Was Jesus able to chat about John’s concerns? Hardly. He had his hands full dealing with His own considerable difficulties. The best Jesus could do was to assign John a task. “Son, behold your mother.” Was there any other apostle there to accept this task? No. Just John. I would guess that John did not do a lot of talking on that day. I would guess he just stayed, suffering Jesus and Mary’s anguish, uniquely willing to remain in a circle of suffering and grief that could be called unparalleled. Is there a greater example of loyalty, love or fellowship? Can we imagine the Lord’s gratitude even though it was not expressed on that day? I do not think so. I do not think we can ever imagine the extent of the Lord’s gratitude to St. John. I think, though, that His gratitude resonates throughout heaven, eternally preserved. We are called to be like John to each other. We are called to show up for each other and we are called to stay, often in silence or in service or in silent service. This is pure love. Why does pure love seem to be so elusive during this time? Well, we are called the Me Generation. That, all by itself, is a condemnation of our times. Love cries out for sacrifice but many of these cries go unheard. In some cases, the cries are mocked. People are encouraged to seek satisfaction for themselves. But we are a community people, intended to give and accept Christ in each other. If I am wholly concentrated on serving myself and filling my own needs, I become unavailable to serve others. As stated, people crave love as Christ craves love. This is the way we are created. But now some people experience guilt about this as though they are not worthy of being loved or as though they are not entitled to be loved or even as though they are asking too much in expecting to be loved. There are many making do with crumbs from the table when they should be experiencing a great Christian feast. We should never be ashamed that we crave love, from God, from each other, and from the world around us. Each person is created to be valued and loved and in this period of great advances, there is a historically unique opportunity to live out the Christian call to honor each of God’s created children."
Lay apostles, if you haven't fully committed yourself to walking this journey with Christ, what is your hesitation? Think about that today. It's surprising how what we think is a hurdle is actually a curb. Hope your Lenten journey is changing your heart . . . I know it is helping mine.
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of Faith. I am forever grateful You instilled it in my mother.