Sunday, March 18, 2007

We are half way through Lent! This is a good time to reflect on our sins and weaknesses, a time of repentance for the many ways we rebel against God on a daily basis!
It's a time of self-denial and sacrifice in reparation for the many ways we fall short and offend God. A time to fast and abstain from some of the creature comforts and luxuries of our time, while focusing on the scourging, Passion and ultimate sacrifice of Jesus on a crude cross! If you were offered the opportunity of taking Jesus' place on the cross, would you willingly accept the scourging, Passion and cruel crucifixion? Would you? Could you? Here was the Son of God, who never sinned, yet He willingly allowed Himself to be brutally beaten, scourged, humiliated and crucified for our sins, just so that we may be united with God the Father in Heaven!
And so dear brother and sisters, let us focus on the seriousness of our sins, how God hates sin, the consequences of sin, how to avoid sin. A three letter word that is seldom mentioned anymore in our "politically correct" and "people friendly" "gathering places" for fear of upsetting anyone!
"For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin."
[Eccl. 7:20]. "For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again; but the wicked are overthrown by calamity." [Prov. 24:16].

"For the word of the Cross is folly to
those who are perishing, but
to us who are being saved it is the power of
God." [1 Cor. 1:18].

After all, not a single atheist was involved in the trial and death of Jesus Christ. No atheist beat up St. Paul, crucified St. Peter, or tossed St. Lawrence on the griddle to roast. The people who did these things were all vibrantly "spiritual" people, filled with a certain piety and deeply affirming of their own sort of "religious values." This is why St. Paul tells us to walk, not as unwise, but as wise.
Wisdom, in Scripture, is more than bearded guys saying "deep things." It encompasses savvy and the quickness of wit required to size up every situation quickly. we need to ask if our culture is becoming more Christ-like or merely becoming more spiritual? If it's only the latter, we'd best be on our toes. After all, the devil is a spirit too. Today, ask God for the gift of discernment to help you be wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove.
[Adapted from Christian Action News, March 2007]