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TODAY (Mission – NOW)
Jesus makes us uncomfortable one way or another; if he doesn’t then we aren’t reading the whole Gospel and knowing the real Jesus, we are rather following some false Jesus, the anti-Christ, because the road to heaven is not easy. Jesus didn’t come to fill us with sugar.
Christ did not promise an easy life. Those who desire comforts have dialed the wrong number. Rather, he shows us the way to great things, the good, towards an authentic human life.
The ways of the Lord are not easy,
Ultimately we were created for Love. and Love has demands, demands that are challenging to us. If we think Christianity is Easter without Good Friday, we have been deceived, duped.
I experienced this in a powerful way at World Youth Day Panama. In many ways our life was pretty easy, but we had our challenges. Especially dressing like a priest down in that heat for hours each day. I know that after the past week’s temperatures you aren’t going to feel sorry for me and might want to do what the crowd tried to do to Jesus in the Gospel today, but it was so hot. Seriously, most of the group didn’t want to risk the nine miles hike with our overnight bags to go to the vigil site a week ago. But it was worth the struggle, the ridiculous sunburn that Leo got, the horrible blisters that Emma got. We eventually were able to join hundreds of thousands of fellow Catholics rejoicing in their faith and united around the Pope. We were tired, hungry, smelly, dehydrated, and sorer than ever, but we were happy. Why? Because of our LOVE. We did all this together, as one, in trials and pains. This echoes what Saint Paul is talking about in Corinthians. The body of Christ, as we heard last week, is united in all its many members, but it is through love that we are one. Pope Francis himself said at the opening meeting:
You, dear friends, have made many sacrifices to be able to meet one another and in this way you have become true teachers and builders of the culture of encounter. By your actions and your approach, your way of looking at things, your desires and above all your sensitivity, you discredit and defuse the kind of talk that is intent on sowing division, on excluding or rejecting those who are not “like us”. It is because you have that instinct which knows intuitively that “true love does not eliminate legitimate differences, but harmonizes them in a superior unity” (BENEDICT XVI, Homily, 25 January 2006). On the other hand, we know that the father of lies prefers people who are divided and quarrelling to people who have learned to work together.
Don’t settle for comfort. Don’t live the Christian life from a recliner, expecting comfort. Be a true follower of Jesus, and a true messenger of the Gospel that calls us to work hard, get messy, and discover the LOVE that satisfies.
Ask yourself: what ways am I too comfortable? Where in my life am I choosing the easy road instead of God’s road? Ask Mary to show you how to courageously say “yes” to God’s will in that part of your life.