Spiritual Direction: You Are The Difference
Today I will give a reflection upon two different readings and three different Church seasons.
Lent, Holy Cross, and Genealogy Sunday are my three favorite times of the Church year. I love the story of St. Helen finding the True Cross, I love the bonfires and most of all I love learning more about our faith.
On Genealogy Sunday I love it when father asks, “Who are you?”
Today the readings reflect both of these passions and I will end by asking you who you are.
In one (2 Timothy, 2: 2) we hear these words, “And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well.”
What is he talking about here?
Is he talking to us?
What is the real meaning behind this passage?
Of course it is written for all of us right here and right now. I would like to let you in on a little secret and I will then apply some math here.
If you effectively do missionary work to10 people every three years, then if those 10 people will each effectively do this work with another 10 people every three years, and each one that is converted over a three year period, will do an additional 10 people every three years, in 6 years you would have 110 teachers, in 9 years, 11,220; in 12 years, 123,540; and in 15 years it would swell to 1,358,940. In three more years or 18 total years it would be 15,083,220 and in just 21 years, 167,409,240 would have received the word of Christ. Even taking in consideration the rapid population growth of today it would take us less than 27 years to reach the whole world.
Twenty seven years, I may not be around to see it, but I am here today to start it.
It will not be easy. However, we are promised that we should be able to bear our share of hardship … like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. He ends that paragraph by stating,” Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.”
Isn’t that a great reward- knowledge. It is the only thing we can take from this world to the next.
I begin this reflection by asking who are? Well, I am a person who knows this to be true.
Because I have studied how my relatives have done missionary work. Whether it is St. Gregory in Armenia- the first Christian Country in the World 301 A.D or the fact that he is credited with baptizing almost 400,000 souls. Or Boris Michael who Christianized Bulgaria, St. Vladimir who Christianized Kiev- (Ukraine), or the relatives that Christianized Georgia.
You see my work on this earth is not done- it has just begun.
We need to pick up our cross and turn the hearts of this country and any other country that will listen back to God. We live in perilous times. People need to repent. Government cannot replace God but God can and will replace the Government.
Two weeks ago Saturday, a man came to Church before Liturgy and we began to talk. I could tell he was not Maronite and I asked him what his religion was.
He smiled and said, he grew up Catholic but left the Church. He no longer believes in God and feels like he doesn’t have to- he has science.
Science. Wow, he has science- he doesn’t need God.
It is a science that doesn’t add up.
I have news for him and you too- if you want to find out about real global warming today do not deny Al Gore- deny Christ. I think he will show you what Global Warming is all about permanently. Science is actually a formal process of making a conclusion and then testing it or questioning it. The problem here is that today we take science as a noun-something that we should not question but our forefathers took science as a verb-something we do only when we question. Or to put it another way-science of today would not be here unless we questioned things in the past. If this is the case, why can we not question what we call “science” today-do we not want any more science in the future and if this is the case-can that really be science?
In Mark 10:38 we see that the Apostles were asking Jesus what they could do to help. Without realizing it they were told the answer when Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”
Brothers and Sisters, are we not doing the same thing ourselves? Like that man who told me he did not need God. I would like to tell him today, “Sir, it is not you who do not need him, it is he who does not need you!”
Let us apply what we learned in the Gospel today to our everyday lives. “For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus gave up his life for us, now we need to go out and spread the word.
Look to your right and look to your left. What do you see?
Do you see space?
Do you see people you know? If you see someone you do not know- introduce yourself on the way out of Church. Be friendly.
Now, I will end with this challenge- if each of you here would invite one friend to Church next week- we would double our attendance. If we did that each week for one month and everyone did it- we would solve our building and maintenance problems within one month. One month- doing one person at a time. We have the talent; we have the people, now we have the mission.
We need to pick up the wisdom of these readings and take them to heart. We can change the world and we are masters of our fate and our country.
Are you up for a challenge?
Do you want to change?
Do you want to help others?
Then I ask what is holding you back?
I will end by asking, Who are you?
Where are you going?
If you are a Christian and you want to get to heaven-
Then do something about it right here and right now
Pick up the Cross and spread the word-
Throw down the chains that stop you and remember these words From 2 Timothy today, “the word of God is not chained.”
Together we will make the world a better place and we will be headed in a much better spiritual direction. Amen