Luke 10-: 1-9 I Chose You from the World
Last night I had my customary dinner with some friends and families from St. Ann to celebrate the final hours of our Sunday. As we were waiting for a table, a gentleman came up to me and told me that he had left the Holy Spirit in the party room (that was the room we were waiting for). I thanked him. He asked me if I was filled with the Holy Spirit. I told him, “I am, especially when I received the gift of the Holy Spirit in baptism, confirmation and ordination (the imposition of the Bishop’s - the successor of the Holy Apostles - hands).” He told me that he was once a priest, a Jesuit, but as soon as he left, he received the gift of the Holy Spirit that made him a true priest, prophet and King. Based on his inability to answer some simple questions, I doubt he was ever an ordained priest, but I proceeded to ask him if he was married. He told me he was, with the Holy Spirit. But after a little prodding, he finally admitted that the woman standing next to him was his wife. He asked me if I ever spoke in tongues. I told him, “Never, just like Christ.” He didn’t seem to like that answer and the conversation quickly turned into a debate. In the end, I hope I left this middle-aged pastor with enough questions to question his understanding of Sacred Scripture, salvation and the gift of the priesthood.
He did tell me one thing that made me angry. He told me that he was speaking to me because he loved me. I told this man that I didn’t need his sentimental or emotional love, and that if he truly loved me, then he would love me the same way the Lord loves me: by giving me the Truth. I then told him that I loved him and proceeded to share with him the Truth.
The greatest temptation against the Lord’s second commandment (Love your neighbor as yourself) is to fight evil with evil. The greatest temptation against the Lord’s first commandment (Love God with all your heart, soul and mind) is to create, mold and fashion a god in our image and likeness. It is a temptation that we all face on a daily basis. If I feel like I have the Holy Spirit, then I can assume I do. If I feel like I am loved by God, then I am. If I feel like I am doing good, then I must be doing God’s work. If I am happy, then the Lord must be happy. If I am in pain, then the Lord must be disappointed in me. If I live my life like this, then I will be more than a priest, a prophet or a king. I will be the King of kings. I will be my very own god. We know that Christ was not filled with joy as he hung on the Cross. But it was pleasing to the Father. The Lord demands love from us: that we know the Truth, embrace the Truth, love the Truth and share the Truth. This is the greatest act of love imaginable. Not too many feelings are involved here. Not once do I hear of Christ’s feelings, nor for that matter, his Apostles. I may be wrong, but I cannot recollect a single moment, when the Lord acted on his feelings. “I must go to Jerusalem” is an act of the will, not of his feelings.
Planned Parenthood’s “religious department” attempted to take on faithful Catholics with the following argument: that “abortion is a decision between me and my God.” Of course, what other god could there possibly be except “my god” which leaves us with a schizophrenic god who will tell some people “this is wrong” while others “it’s alright”. This very intelligent, very American and very protestant argument is very much wrong.
“I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last forever.” My god will always be a fleeting god, whose fruit will rot as quickly as I, and die as quickly as I. The culture of death is constantly dying to itself. This god has no Life because it has no depth, no roots. Its laborers deserve no payment, no welcoming and no home. They take with them the goods of the world, the goods of the poor and fill their pockets with them. Peter lamented, “We have left everything to follow you.” The Lord responded not with sympathy but with a promise and the truth: “Amen, amen I say to you, ‘every one that has forsaken houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundred times, and shall inherit everlasting life.’” (Mt 19:29) And these words come from the King James Version of the Bible.
What protestant pastor, evangelist, or minister has followed these words from the Lord?
May I never boast in anything, except in the cross of the Lord.