Living According To Christ’s Word
Postad av Regnbågsprästen 2012-04-20 11:07
Living According To Christ’s Word
A reflection for the Third Sunday of Easter 2012
By Rev. Robert Johnnene OFD
Mission Saints Sergius and Bacchus / Franciscans of Divine Mercy
National Catholic Church of America
Throughout all of history we humans have treated Almighty God as though he has human feeling, temperament, thinking, emotions and even form and therefore desired, reacted and responded in the same way as we humans. This might be true if you are referring to God in the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ to some extent, but not God the creator, Father who is the greatest energy or force and that force is Love.
In the second reading for today we hear the following words; “Whoever says, I know him but does not do what he commanded is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his teachings and his word, love for God is truly made complete in them, This is how we know we are in him.”
Often some Church leaders dress in fancy clothes, maintain homes more than 65% of the world’s population cannot afford and even wear gold and jeweled encrusted vestments whose cost could feed a whole town for a year or build a hospital, or secure homes for hundreds.
Trillions have been spent to build beautiful palaces as monuments and places of worship to God in spite of the fact that Christ did most of His preaching under the open skies of His Father‘s cathedral. I believe how God wants us to live our lives is with compassion for others, being more mindful of the needs of others especially the poor, homeless, sick and unemployed and not just luxuries and personal indulgence in pleasure.
Yes, we need a place for a faith community to gather together in comfort and safety, a simple plain building with the necessary space for people to gather, a place where we can celebrate our love and honor Almighty God and partake in the Eucharistic.
Christ did not have jeweled encrusted Chalices at the Last Supper but simple cups made either from Ceramic or wood.
We need to be able to travel to visit God’s children who are confined because of illness or age but we do not need luxury cars but reliable energy efficient transportation that will get us from one place to another safely. This is a need this ministry is now facing as I make visits to those who are confined to hospitals, nursing homes or residences due to age, illness or other issues all over New England.
I have learned that God will provide what you need just as we are told in Matthew 6:25-27 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
Christ made God’s will very clear but I fear we often try to make being a follower of Christ difficult by imposing a lot of manmade rules and regulations that Christ never taught. Christ said the most important commandments were “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with your entire mind; and your neighbor as yourself. (Like 10:27 also in Matthew 25 :44-47 “I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you; That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven…. try to be perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.”
What a different world this would be if everyone, regardless of their religious beliefs, would practice these basic teachings and preach peace and brotherly love, working hard at finding a way toward living in peace with one another rather than fighting wars and causing devastation, genocide, starvation and homelessness.
Our Seraphic Father, Saint Francis, realized how little the riches of the world meant compared to the riches of eternity. He stripped off all His fancy clothes and donned the clothes of a peasant. He shared his simple loaf of bread with Lepers and the poor on the streets as did Mother Theresa Padre Pio, Martin De Pores and St. Damien of Molokai realized this as did many others who tried to show the way and have been rewarded with sainthood. Yet Christ’s teachings and God’s will continue to be ignored or worse, confused by rules and regulations that insure wealth, power and grandeur.
For some reason, we just cannot seem to grasp God's desire for us.
Some leaders of corporations, governments and Religious denominations seek to gain profit at the expense of the less fortunate, desiring material trappings rather than having compassion for those in need. Some use deceit, lies or even religious beliefs to justify war. Businesses use sensuality and narcissism to sell unnecessary products to increase their bottom line and the profit margin.
One has to ponder where we are headed and how God is looking upon all this and what is needed in order for our hearts to begin to live according to the teachings of Jesus Christ.
I believe the time is now for us to take a good hard look at the way we are living and make a concerted effort this Easter season to change our ways and strive to live the Gospels in our actions as well as our words.
We need to do what the first reading for today proclaims “Repent and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out that times of Refreshment may come from God.”
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- Ove Nyström