Losing Our Lives for Christ in Our Hardships

For the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, the Church both prepares us for the feast with a special reading the Sunday before, and also, today, sends us off from the feast with a special reading the Sunday after. This past Sunday’s gospel reading, for the Sunday after the feast of the Cross, is what our holy Fathers want us to take away from the feast.

And actually, there was a reading the day before, too, for the Saturday after the feast, with the same theme. The theme of both of these passages is the practical application of the Cross of Christ to our lives. In Saturday’s gospel reading, Jesus says: When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father taught me, I speak these things.

Continue reading “Losing Our Lives for Christ in Our Hardships”

Going the “Extra Mile” in Forgiveness

The Gospel passage mentioned in the last post said, …if you do not forgive your brother from your heart. But, going the “extra mile” in forgiveness, in his first epistle, St. Peter says:
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. And James echoes this same idea of “covering” the sins of others: …whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

This covering others’ sins is something we don’t think about much, though it has been around a while…in Proverbs, love covers all offenses, and elsewhere in Proverbs,
Whoever covers an offense seeks love,…

We not only are called to forgive, but to actively use love to cover sins.

Continue reading “Going the “Extra Mile” in Forgiveness”

We Determine How Strictly We Are Judged

So much of our society trains us to focus on ourselves, on our rights, and to judge others as respecters or offenders of those rights. This past weekend, in Bend, some alleged social media posts from the shooter who took the life of two innocents revealed this to the extreme. Remembering wrongs others commit against us and the lack of forgiveness is toxic. What we see in Christ’s Gospel is quite the opposite, not focused on the wrongs of others, but on our own spiritual state.

After the story of the man forgiven a massive debt, who turns around and requires someone else to repay him a much smaller debt, resulting in his re-judgment with the same harshness he used, the passage ends: So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.

So, we know what not to do. But what should we do? How should we act?

Continue reading “We Determine How Strictly We Are Judged”

Our Daily Offerings

The Gospel passage this past Sunday was the Matthew passage of the feeding of the five thousand. What struck me most was the concern of the disciples. Their hearts are in the right place. The multitudes are out in this deserted place, and the disciples are concerned about their welfare.

Jesus surprises them by suggesting they find something for the multitudes to eat. Not at all out of stinginess, but just seeing the impossibility of the situation, the disciples say they only have five loaves and two fish. Jesus takes this meager offering, and does the impossible.

Christ is not asking us to do more than we are able, not asking us to give more than we have, not asking us to be more than we are. He is just asking for our five loaves and two fish.

Continue reading “Our Daily Offerings”