This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Thursday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
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Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!”
Instead of imagining a world with “no religion”, let’s try imagining everyone like Jesus Christ. What a wonderful world it would be!
Sin and grace. “My dear brothers and sisters, sin must not reign over your mortal bodies so that you obey their desires. Do not present the parts of your bodies to sin as weapons for wickedness, but present yourselves to God as raised from the dead to life and the parts of your bodies to God as weapons for righteousness” (cf. Rom. 6:12-13).
We are in the midst of a battle of gigantic proportions. It is a battle we do not fight alone. But the consequences are my own.
We have many enemies. We have many friends. But we face only two choices. Either we can be a slave to God or a slave to sin (something other than God).
Do not even fool yourself! Do not even think you are truly free. How foolish! How naïve! I cannot think of anything worse than being a slave, except thinking one is free when one is not.
A while back someone recommended I read a New York Times article about the Pope. I recommended they read a FOXNEWS article. They shot back and told me they would never read an article written by a news organization filled with extremists and radicals! This person then asked me why I would even read such articles. I smiled and politely told them not to worry about me, “since we both know that FOXNEWS is biased, but apparently only I know the New York Times is as well.”
I am a slave to no one! Really? Do you really think you are your own master? Try it. See what happens next? I am quite positive that as soon as you attempt to exert your “mastery”, another, one stronger than you, will come and take it away. You fool! Have you forgotten you are trapped in your own mortal flesh and are limited by time and space? You are not your own. You have been conditioned. You are not free. We are a slave. The question now is, to whom?
Are you a slave to God or a slave to sin? Are you a slave to God’s love or a slave to the devil’s manipulation of it? If you are not sure, then remember what St. Paul wrote: “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one who you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Rom 6:17-18)
So who is my master? Is it my body? Does my body occupy my thoughts, and are my thoughts occupied by my carnal passions? Am I obsessed with feeling good and looking good? Am I addicted to sex, alcohol and/or drugs? Am I concerned with always being right and never being wrong? Am I so fearful of what others think of me that I have driven myself to extinction?
Am I a slave to sin?
Yesterday, I read a very disturbing article in the Dallas Morning News regarding a young woman who was repeatedly sexually abused by her therapist. At the age of fifteen, this girl was severely broken. “She had had two surgeries for scoliosis, was anorexic, was depressed and was suicidal when she started therapy. She also used to cut herself every day with a razor blade, carving words like ‘fat’ and ‘whore’ and ‘guilty whore’ into her skin.”
How could this have happened? What in the world was lacking in her life? Apparently, the therapist knew, and, in a very twisted way, took what was sacred and profaned it!
We are in a real-life battle to save our lives; that is, our true selves, our image and likeness of the one true God! I cannot give up. I can never give up. Never! Surrender means death. If I do not fight, then I will become a slave to sin, “which leads to death.”
So fight the good fight, and consider all things so much as rubbish that we may gain Christ and be found in him (cf. Phil 3:8).
Our dignity – Truth, Beauty and Freedom – is found in the person of Jesus Christ. “Follow me.”
The Lord set the earth on fire and it continues to blaze. It is the Lord’s “reset button.” But He did not leave us devastated. On the contrary, just like the Big Bang and the Burning Bush, this fire gives a new faith, a new hope and a new life to us.
“Our help is in the name of the Lord!” (Ps. 124:8a). “Blessed are they who hope in the Lord” (Ps 40:5). (95)
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