Sometimes we feel that we have reached our limit and can go not one step further, but with encouragement and trust, we can realize our full potential. We may think we have reached our plateau, but God knows our potential better than we know it ourselves. If are willing to put our faith in God’s understanding, then we will be able to go out and gather many others who are in need of Good News. We will be able to brothers many others to the Church. The only thing left is our faith to say to God, “Nevertheless, we will go further.” By trusting God we will reach others for His glory.
When we hear in the Gospel, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me,” we must ask ourselves, what is our cross? We may get lazy in a world of comfort, or we may ignore the advice of the Church, or we may just be tempted by evil. Either way, life has its difficulties which we know to be our cross. But the Cross of Christ, is power to defeat our temptations. It is power to strengthen our desire to deny our own logic and agenda for Christ and His Church.
Jesus said, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3.14-16) When most Christians hear this promise of our Lord, we are comforted that “all we need to do is believe” and we will be saved. But what does it mean to believe?
When we reflect upon our daily spiritual challenges, one thing comes to mind, at least one thing comes to my mind. Is this enough? Am I saying enough prayers? Am I giving enough time? Am I loving enough? Am I am forgiving enough? Am I helping others enough? Am I learning enough? Alternatively, I might be tempted to ask, “If I ‘do’ less, will THAT be enough? Is it ever enough?
There is a popular TV program which features stories of family members struggling to assist their loved ones to let go of years’ worth of stuff that has been piling up in their homes. In many cases the hoarders originally held on to items of value, but after years of being ignored what was originally meant for good had become wasted, and we watch the anguish as their lives are turned inside out. What was meant for good, since the hoarders never used them, was eventually taken away.
In every walk of life there comes a time when we are making great progress. Our business is growing. Our relationships are filled with joy. Everything in our life seems to be heading in just the right direction, until suddenly the proverbial ratchet gets thrown into the works and everything comes to a standstill. If you have experienced this before, you know exactly the frustration I’m describing. If you haven’t yet, don’t panic when it happens. It happens to all of us. You ever wonder why?
“Good teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?” “All these I have observed; what do I still lack?” These are the words used by a man who hoped to enter into paradise. There was only one problem. He words never entered his heart.
By now most people who read this blog have heard about Jesus Christ. You have heard about His teachings about love and forgiveness, and you have heard about the Church He established. You have heard how Jesus calls us to a different life, a life of repentance and divine grace. You have heard that no matter how bad the past has been in your life, there is always hope for the future. You have also heard that Jesus expects more from us the more that we grow closer to Him, and that sometimes it becomes increasingly difficult to choose Christ over the world.
Let’s face it. We all have done or said something for which we need to be forgiven. What we do might be unique to our situation, but the truth that we all do and say things that we should not have said or done cannot be denied. Hopefully, our family and friends forgive our momentary lapse in judgement, and our relationships move forward. But what if we aren’t forgiven? What if our family and friends refuse to forgive us? Would we feel an injustice has been done? Afterall, our mistake wasn’t intentional; it was a momentary lapse in judgement.