I’ve always found that the truest friends are the ones who challenge us to be better people. The ones who are there during the tough times, sure. But the ones who also aren’t afraid to tell us how it is and help us to change for the better. This is also true in our faith life. If we aren’t challenged in our faith, then we can’t be better Christians. We can’t grow in holiness. And holiness is nothing more than knowing the love of God. It’s not floating or glowing or any of that. It’s simply having a personal relationship with God the Father, and His Son, and the Holy Spirit.
When we were growing-up, generally speaking, our faith – all of the knowledge about God was drilled into us. We learned some Scripture passages, the Our Father and Hail Mary. We went to church (sometimes kicking and screaming, and sometimes if you’re like my family, with your soccer cleats on) on Sundays. Some of us had some pretty tough nuns or priests to teach us the faith with incredible discipline. We learned about the faith in the hope that one day we would eventually live out that faith in our daily life, get to know the Lord, and go to Heaven.
When we get to the pearly gates, we will not be quizzed on what we know about the faith. It won’t be how much money we donated to the Church. It won’t be a question of how we tried to be a good person. It will be a simple question, “Do you know me?” Think about that. “Do you know me?” More specifically perhaps, “Do you know my Love?” We will all have to answer this question. If we but try to know Him on earth, His mercy will guide us to His glorious countenance in Heaven.
Do you know Him? Do you have a personal relationship with the Lord? One of the programs we are going to begin soon is called Alpha, with the sole purpose of developing a personal relationship with the Blessed Trinity. It is a non-denominational program that will be through ZOOM this year with groups of people who simply want to know the love of God - to KNOW Him. I would like to challenge all of you - but more specifically our parents and teachers in our school, our parents and teachers in our PREP, and our parents and coaches in the CYO - to use this program to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If we want all of our family members to go to Heaven, and Heaven is the state of simply being in that beautiful presence of Love, we want to be able to pass that faith - that relationship - onto our children. Let that be our legacy. Let that be our inheritance we leave. But we cannot give what we do not have. We can’t give to our children that lovely inheritance if we do not have it first. And He wants us to have a relationship with Him. He wants it so bad He was willing to suffer for nothing else. During Lent, you can see in His glorious Passion how much He wants to have a relationship with us. Through the blood and pain and suffering - through the abandonment of His closest friends and mockery - through the three hours of slowly suffocating. You can FEEL His desire for you in your bones.
I challenge you to know Him and more importantly, to be known BY Him. May we grow in true, authentic Holiness this Lent and always.
The ALPHA program will be offered Thursday evenings via Zoom at 7:30pm beginning February 4th for 11 weeks. Sign-up by going to: https://signup.com/go/rKuQROV. Youth/Young Adult Alpha will be Tuesday evenings 7-8:30pm via Zoom. To Sign-up go to: visibvm.flocknote.com and look for “signups” on the left. Already on flocknote follow this link: https://visibvm.flocknote.com/signup/37826.
May the Lord give you His Peace,