Saturday, May 18, 2013

Follow Me

Pope Francis has given us two different looks at the nature of sin these last few days. He said, "The problem is not that we are sinners: the problem is not repenting of sin, not being ashamed of what we have done."

We all are sinners. This does not exclude anyone. To think only that the other has sinned but not ourselves is ignorant. At the same time it should not be a game of comparison which looks to see who is worse. We need to stay focused on acknowledging our own sins before God and strive to repent. This is what will make a difference in the lives of others.

If we fail to recognize our own sinfulness we will be tempted to point only at the sins of others in idle chatter or as Pope Francis said, "to compare oneself with others." He goes on to say, "When there is this comparison, we end up in bitterness and even envy, but envy rusts the Christian community, it brings much hurt, and the devil wants that. This kind of talk will not do you any good, because it will just bring to the Church a spirit of destruction."

Rather Pope Francis reminds us of our true role as Christians which is to hear the Lord Jesus saying to us, "Follow me!" Pope Francis concludes, "These are the beautiful words of Jesus, it is so clear, that he has so much love for us." When we hear the call and realize Christ's love for us, we then will have the courage to turn away from sin, to repent and to transform our lives. Hopefully along the way we can encourage others to do the same.

All words of Pope Francis are in quotations above. All other words are my own reflections.
The quotes are a translation from the Italian into English from his Mass on Saturday May, 18, 2013. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Jesus said to his disciples: “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me.” - John 15:18-21

Have you ever been attacked for your beliefs? I'm not talking about being attacked for your opinion or personal viewpoint. I'm referring to those moments when you have spoken the Truth revealed to us by God through his Son Jesus and safeguarded by the Holy Spirit through the Church.

When we strive to live out the example of Christ and preach it through our words and actions, there will be times when we will not be accepted. Not only will we not just be accepted, but we might end up being hated and persecuted. Ouch! I believe the thought of being rejected in fact causes many of us to remain silent and mind our own business. We think it is better to say nothing or we convince ourselves "who are we to say anything".

However, to speak the Truth of God is not about gaining the upper hand or bringing judgment upon somebody. It is not about being praised or thinking we are better than others. To be honest it is not even about us! It is truly about LOVE. The love to speak the truth even if it is not easy nor will it be accepted. The love to say, "your soul is more important to me than just keeping peace or minding my business."

This is never easy and yes we are afraid. We can never be too haste to speak nor speak in our own name. We must consult the Holy Spirit, who Christ promises to be with us, to guide and help us so that the truth remains about God and not about you and me.

God knows we need courageous men and women in our world today to speak the Truth. Men and women who look beyond their personal opinion and take the time to engage in study through reflection upon the revealed Word of God.

Will that person be you or me?