Sign of the + Greeting
Do you know that people generally tell me they are Good Catholics? They believe that they are “doing enough” to satisfy God’s expectations. “We go to Church often enough. We give enough to the poor and to the Church. With regards to sexuality and other moral questions, we are good enough. Although this attitude seems to be almost universal, there is a question that bothers me and just won’t go away. Is being “good enough” really pleasing God our Father?
Come to think of it, I find distasteful people who seem content to be “just long enough” with me in person, on the phone, or by email. By contrast, I believe we all much prefer the person who enjoys our company so much that they lose track of time and almost miss an appointment. Our human heart, mind, soul, and body are made for relationship, and only authentic personal relationships are deeply satisfying and meaningful to us. This is real life. This is really living.
Why should eternal life be different? We have been designed for relationships with other human beings and also with God the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. John the Beloved Disciple, Apostle, and Evangelist in his Gospel in chapter 17 verse 3 recalls Jesus saying: “And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” That means that by the gift of God, by his grace, we can already taste here and now on Earth how good it is to know and to love the Father and the Son Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit.
The sad reality is that we don’t do the good we want to do, and we don’t always avoid the evil that deep down we don’t want to do, but we do it anyway. God is not pleased because He knows this is not how we can give meaning and purpose to our lives; this is not the way to love God, others, and ourselves with our whole mind, heart, soul, and strength. Because He truly loves us and wants our lives to become truly meaningful, good, and beautiful, God is eager to forgive us if only we are willing to confess to Him our sinfulness and seek his forgiveness.
Jesus hated the scribes and Pharisees because they were hypocrites who preferred pleasure and comfort rather than make room for others in their hearts. Jesus taught people to do what the religious leaders taught, because they were teaching the Word of God, but Jesus warned people not to imitate what they did, because they did not live in accord with the Word of God. The religious leaders did not care about people or about God. God wants us to care for Him as well as for others, because only then will we live truly of love and taste the goodness of our life.
It is hard for us to go to a priest and confess our sins. We don’t like to admit we messed up. Yet this is how Jesus wants us to reconcile with God, because Confession humbles us and makes us real. “Father in Heaven, help us put away our pride and humbly declare by confessing our sins that You are God: the Father, + the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Blessing and Dismissal
© 2006-2021 All rights reserved Fr. Gilles Surprenant, Associate Priest
of Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montreal QC
© 2006-2021 Tous droits réservés Abbé Gilles Surprenant, Prêtre Associé de Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montréal QC
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