In today’s reading from Acts of the Apostles Chapter 12:24-13:5, the infant church begins to spread, not only from Jerusalem, but also from Judaism. The Church had reached Antioch, and having been firmly established there, it’s founders, Paul and Barnabas, are called by the Holy Spirit outward, slowly, steadily, in spite of all opposition. They persevered.
That’s today’s theme-perseverence. Regardless of the obstacles in today’s world, whether they be promiscuity depicted on television, or rampant abortion coverage on the news, we must persevere. Mother Teresa of Calcutta once told us that God does not expect us to be perfect, he only expects us to persevere. Unwavering.
So what’s the best way to do this? Develop your Catholic nose. You know what the Church really teaches (despite what the media thinks she teaches!), don’t you? It’s pretty simple. Love God, with all your heart, soul, mind, strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. How can we love God that way? By obeying Him. Let’s stop creating God in our image, putting words in his mouth that seem to support our pet sins. Take him at his word, and believe him. Do what he tells us to do. Don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t lust. You think that’s limiting? No, it’s freeing. Put away your pride, work on being more humble.
Say each day “Lord, my way doesn’t always work very well. I will do it your way today.” Do it, and keep doing it.
Today’s Gospel, John 12:44-50 contains the phrase that many today take out of context. Jesus says “I came into the world, not to condemn the world, but to save the world.” Pretty non-judgemental, right? But what he’s really telling us is that there’s the Father we must face at our particular judgement. Jesus came with a message. Those that believe it and take it to heart will do well with the Father. Those that don’t believe it, and don’t take it to heart, not so good. Listen to Jesus’ message throughout the gospel, it comes from the Father. Take Jesus at God’s word.
Loving each other does not mean to let each other go on commiting errors in their lives. If your child is about to do something that’s…a poor decision, we are to correct our child, lovingly, but firmly. Same with our circle of friends/family/acquaintances. Tell it like it is. If you don’t, you might find yourself just as guilty as the one doing the sin…