God created the world. He created the universe. From the depths of the sea to the farthest reaches of space He created. It is a pretty safe bet to say that He is pretty darn powerful and pretty darn smart. He offers us so much. He offers us His neverending love. There is nothing more powerful than that. We spend our whole lives looking for love, looking for tenderness, looking for compassion. When all the time, He is right there offering His love to us.
Somehow, we think we know more than God. Somehow we think that we know better than Him what we need or what is better for us. Why is that??
Is it pride?? Do we as mortal men, who have learned everthing we know from other mortal men, think that we know more that God who is eternal, who always has been and always will be? When we read the storey of Adam and Eve don't we scoff and ponder at the ignorance of Adam and Eve who chose to eat from the Tree of Knowledge so that they could be like God instead of listening to God? Yet we do that on a daily basis.
Is it lack of faith?? Even if we are self-proclaimed Christians who believe in Jesus often have doubts that He will take care of us and answer our prayers. He has told us that he cares for all of the birds of the sky and we are much more valuable than those. All we have to do is have faith that he will take care of us. But we don't think He answers our prayers because He does not necessarily answer them they way that we want Him too. We must trust that He will take care of us and give us what we need.
Is it because it is just so darn difficult to follow Him. Sure, He offers us eternal salvation but what He asks from us in return seems so difficult to give up. It would be nice to say that He just wants a lit bit of us. Just to say a short prayer and bam--eternally saved--no more worries. But He wants more than that. He wants ALL of us. Everything we have has been given to us from Him and He wants it all in return. He wants us to die to ourselves and to serve Him. In Sunday's gospel reading, Jesus tells us that unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it will not bear fruit. That is the same way with us. Unless we die to ourselves and offer everything to Christ we will not bear fruit. Every day we must have a new conversion, a new offering to Jesus. Every day we must pick up our crosses and follow Him.
This is not to say that anything we can do saves us. Jesus was the perfect offering that saves us. It is only through Jesus' life, death, and resurrection that we have the opprotunity to spend eternity in the presence of God.
But, Jesus never tells us that it is easy to be His follower. He must chose that thin path. We can expect to suffer. If Jesus himself suffered persecution and torture and a horrific death on the cross who are we to expect any better. He does offer us eternal happiness in the next life though.
We are only pilgrims on this earth, pilgrims trying to get home. A pilgrimage is never easy. It's a rough road. We MUST turn to God for His love and support. We must put aside our pride, have faith and accept the difficulties that come to our way. Accept the graces that He freely gives in the sacraments and trust in Him.
Worth a Thousand Words: Doge Leonardo Loredan
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