Sunday, September 22, 2019

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time: God Dies So You Can Live

Today's readings tell us that God literally loves us to death.  In the first reading, we read the prophecies concerning Christ.  Christ will be tried, tortured, harasses and put to a shameful death. We see all of this in the Passion. Christ is mocked, put on trial, tortured. While on the Cross, the people make fun of Him saying He can save Himself, mocking God. Jesus had to suffer for all of us. This was already set into time and motion since the fall of Adam and Eve.  God did this out of love. As the Responsorial Psalm says, "The Lord upholds my life."  God is the source of our life. Without God, nothing would exist. God loves us so much that He sent His only son to suffer and die for us. He upholds our life even at the expense of His.

This is why we have to return the love and praise God's name, for its goodness.  The second reading tells us that jealousy and selfish ambition only bring disorder. We see this today in the Church, unfortunately. We have some Catholics who are creating drama and scandal in the Church via conspiracy theories and other nonsense. We have to be careful with these people and pray for them.  Like the reading says, we have to rely on wisdom.  Wisdom is pure. It has no ulterior motives and relies on reason. We must be kind, merciful, gentle, compliant and avoid wars among each other. Unfortunately, some Catholics forget that we have to change our behavior if we are to be true Catholics.  Being Catholic is simply not just going to Mass, praying Rosaries, receiving Sacraments and that is all.  It goes deeper. These acts are meant to remind us of God and change our being to reflect God, who is perfect. If we do all of these things and do not love our neighbors or are not merciful, then they did nothing for us.  They were empty rituals that we got hooked to like a mindless drug. We must not become like the Pharisees who saw the Sabbath as a day we just rest, even rest from doing works of charity.

We must be humble like a child and not seek to use Catholicism to make a position for ourselves.  The Gospel reminds us of this.  Jesus says that He will be handed over to be killed. While Jesus is thinking about and talking about His passion, the disciples were busy arguing among themselves who is the greatest. To settle the dispute, Jesus uses a child to make a point. He says that we have to receive others like we receive a child. Nobody who is sane would reject a child. If we see a child alone or hungry, most likely we will be compelled to go ask what is going on and offer to help. We must do this with everyone. We must be servants. The last will be first and the first will be last. This means that we must dedicate our lives to the service of others. It does not mean that we have to be slaves. By servant, Jesus means someone who is caring and compassionate. Being a Catholic is not a stepping stone to a position in the Church or society. It should never be. We should not use the Catholic faith to make a name for ourselves, profit from it or turn it into a business. It pains me to see apologists, Catholic musicians, preachers and the like turn the faith into a cashcow. They make themselves available for booking, charging ridiculous amounts as if the faith is for sale. The Gospel is free.  The catholic faith is free.  Let us follow Christ's words and be the last of all so that we can be the first.  God died on the cross so we can live.  Live not just life, but a holy one. 


Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/092318.cfm


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