Monday, March 10, 2014

The Beginning and the End

Friends of Faith:

This is not harsh, this is mercy. It seems so complicated, and yet it is so simple.

For God was. The Beginning and the End—AND everything in between.

In the beginning, God made us.

“The LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life,  and so man became a living being.” Gn 2: 7

We were tempted. Everything “in between” is a choice. Heaven or earth. God’s way or man’s way.

At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written: The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.” Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.”Mt 4:1-11

In the end, Jesus saved us.

“Through one man sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned. For if, by the transgression of the one, death came to reign through that one,
how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ. In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so, through one righteous act, acquittal and life came to all. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so, through the obedience of the one, the many will be made righteous.”
Rm 5:12, 17-19

I know the beginning... I am a sinner. I know what I want in the end... I want to be saved. And I struggle, like all humans, in between, to make the choice to worship and serve God alone.

Even Jesus was tempted (three times), by Satan’s distortion and application of the words of the scriptures.

One: “The tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.” Mt 4: 3

Two: “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: He will command his angels concerning you and with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Mt 4: 6

Three times: “Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he said to him, "All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.” Mt 4: 8-9

Jesus knew the whole story. Not just the beginning and not just the end. The devil tried to trick him with his own words, by three times taking His own words out of context. But Jesus knew the whole story, not just the beginning and not just the end. He knew that EVERY choice in-between was important.

“There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.”Jn 21:25 So, He left us His Church to instruct us and His Spirit to guide us.

I am called to Pray! to Learn! To Discern! And my choices will include being tempted to stop in-between. He gave me, He gives me, His son, every minute of every day, so that I can learn by my mistakes, be forgiven, and move forward to the end.

Merciful Father, You are slow to anger and great in Your kindness. Give me the courage and strength to withstand the temptations of this world and to have the desire to know You more. Thank you for the gift of grace which helps me to understand You more fully. The gift of Your words, spoken and unspoken, which give me the tools to move closer to You. And for the gift of Your Son, through the forgiveness of the cross, which allows me to look forward to You. Amen.

We have all begun. We all want the same end. We were put here to help each other through the in- between.

This is our Lenten journey—together in Christ,



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