The word "honor" grabbed my attention in the Gospel today. There were those who didn't honor Christ when He walked this earth . . . when they could actually touch Him, see Him and listen to Him. So, why would it be any different over 2,000 years later? Well, the Truth can be overwhelming, right? It means admitting to ourselves we are imperfect. The fact is, a true follower of Jesus knows when they are getting it wrong and try to avoid making the same mistake over and over. His Love is unconditional. He honored every one of us in His Passion. If you are Catholic (or even if you are not!), pray the Sorrowful Mysteries. Watch The Passion of the Christ. Immerse yourself in His suffering. Give Him the honor He deserves. In turn, clarity in honoring our families, our friends, our community and our historically #MAGA President will become apparent! Seek the good, always. Be honorable in all you do and say.
Today's Gospel (Matthew 13:54-58) illustrates how painful (or disappointing) the lack of honor from His own people must have felt for our dear Jesus:
Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue.
They were astonished and said, "Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds? Is he not the carpenter's son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Are not his sisters all with us? Where did this man get all this?" And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house." And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.
In Anne a lay apostle's book Climbing the Mountain, she beautifully describes the magnitude of God's love for us:
"It is like every honor in the world to be asked to write about love of Jesus. Where does one begin and, more importantly, how does one finish a task such as this? One will never be finished. That stated, when asked to do something, it is best to begin. Love of Jesus is like the wind. We cannot see it, we cannot always identify its origin, but it has great impact on us and can actually alter our course. It can begin in softness, as a gentle stirring, and end in the greatest of storms that will lead us to heroic deeds and action. Love of Jesus brings us to the base of the mountain. What is first experienced is the love Jesus has for us. Our love of Christ is actually a response to His perfect love for us because His love always was and always will be. The love between a soul and his Savior is a reciprocal thing. God’s love must be entertained by the soul in order to grow. If the soul has a heart surrounded by ice, Jesus will melt that ice, but He can only work if He is allowed. This ice, the result of sin and of the wounds inflicted by the world, closes off the divine. The heart needs love like the lungs need oxygen. Our Lord Himself has said this. So the more closed the heart is to the divinity, the less capable it is of loving. A soul can sometimes rest in mortal sin or in the world for a long period. This heart becomes hardened and toughened. The longer the heart is closed off to Christ, the more accustomed the soul becomes to living without the love of Christ. This stated, the Divine Healer needs only the smallest crack and He can flood the soul with warmth and heat, melting the ice and restoring the heart to a condition where it can freely give and receive love from Jesus and from other souls. The love of Christ is the most powerful driving force on earth. It is what compels souls to service. It compels souls to work tirelessly for others, their brothers and sisters who are also beloved by Jesus. This is because when we love someone, we begin to accept their goals as our own. If nothing else, we understand the goals of the beloved and if we can help to further those goals, we will do so."
Lay apostles, how are you honoring Christ in your life? How are you honoring those around you, including our President? How are you honoring yourself? I achieve more when I stay focused on Christ. Today, do an "honor" check in your life . . . how can you improve?
Thank you, Lord, for showing me continually the sacrifices You made for me and all mankind. Help me remember to honor You at all times, in any situation.