Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Influence and Hope
Friends of Faith:I recently related my “surprise” at how God influences my mood by putting just the right hope filled words in front of me at just the right time.
We spent some time with Andy at Loras yesterday and these are the words on banners in the front of the campus church:“Keep the Surprise Alive!” “There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to other’s of our friendship with Him. Pope Benedict XVI”
And mass was dedicated to the memorial of St. Josephat Kuncevyc, bishop and martyr who died because he wanted to unify the divided church of Ruthenian.He evangelized to give hope to a divided nation. Just as Paul evangelized to Titus, “For a bishop as God's steward must be blameless, not arrogant, not irritable, not a drunkard, not aggressive, not greedy for sordid gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, temperate, just, holy, and self-controlled, holding fast to the true message as taught so that he will be able both to exhort with sound doctrine and to refute opponents. Ti 1:1-9
St. Josephat’s influence was because he was holy, blameless and he held fast to the true message of God. His message, like Christ’s was for unification, not division, one body, one Spirit for all. And St. Josephat became a saint in part because his influence, like Christs’ was after he was martyred, not when he was alive.Will our influence AFTER we die, be greater than when we are alive? Who do we remember, who did we know, that influenced us MORE when we look back by how they lived their humble lives?
As I said, I have been surprised by some of the other messages this past week:“The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones. ..... You justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts; for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God." Lk 16:9-15
God knows our hearts, it is His power that is important, not human power.“The LORD keeps faith forever, secures justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets captives free. Ps 146:7
God will protect and set us free. Forever!“Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy. 1 Cor 3: 16-17
We are God’s temples, in his image he created us to be holy, by our actions, by how we treat ourselves and others, like Christ treated us—to die to ourselves and give everything up for Him.“Do everything without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like lights in the world, as you hold on to the word of life, so that my boast for the day of Christ may be that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Phil 2: 12-18
Around us there may be division, a lack of unity and seeming discord, but God made us to know him, serve him and love him—without blemish—so that we may be LIGHT to the world. Are we striving to become saints?Heavenly Father, you are our creator, our hope, and our protector. May we become for you as HOLY as you intended us to be. Thank You for giving us Your son’s life to be our greatest influence. Set us free from the captives of this world, from the powers of money and oppression. Help us to honor You, by imitating Him. And may our actions reflect your light and bring us hope, peace and eternal joy. Amen.
If the truest judge of character is what we will be remembered for after we die, then are we doing what we want to be remembered by?Be influenced today by God’s Hope,