Luke 20: 27-29 To Stand By Him
“If you do not stand up for something, you will fall for everything!” These were the words of a mom who was encouraging her son to not give in to bullying - bullying from a public school teacher who was indirectly calling out or putting down her son for his Catholic faith. Thank God this doesn’t happen often, but when it does, this is when all the religious formation, preparation and instruction come to bear fruit.
What helps us to stand up for something is what we aspire to be. What do I want to be? The answer can only be one: A Saint! Regardless of what profession I choose, I can always be a Saint. We are still waiting for the first holy accountant. Judas, who was in charge of the money bag, was a failure. Yet, we have the examples of thousands of men and women who came from different backgrounds and cultures and have attained holiness because they desired unity with Christ.
“You can’t do anyone any good if you are dead.” I was just reflecting on this today and at first it appears to be a noble truth. However, I believe it is a lame excuse, especially if one dies for Christ. How can I forget the life of Blessed Franz Jagerstatter (1907-1943), a husband and father of three daughters, he refused to enter into military service for the Third Reich. Instead of his friends encouraging him, they reprimanded him and demanded that he serve out of love for his country and love for his wife and children. But Blessed Franz understood the greater good he would accomplish by bearing witness to the Truth to his friends and family and to the entire world. Responding to those who had accused him of neglecting his duties he wrote, “I cannot believe that, just because one has a wife and children, a man is free to offend God.” Franz Jagerstatter was executed on August 9th, 1943 and raised to the altars on May 21st, 2007, the day of his Christening. Let us never forget, that the Lord is judge of the living and the dead. He always has the last word. The way we die sets an enduring example for the living. Either we die a Saint or a Sinner; selflessly or selfishly; in holiness or in sinfulness. There is a lot you can do when you die for Christ. Just like he did for us!
“Those who are not with me are against me.” (Luke 11:23) These are not the words of a Mafioso. These are the words of our Lord! It is a solemn reminder from the Lord that we cannot serve two gods. We cannot serve and love mammon and God. We cannot worship both the Son and the moon. That is, be a Saint and a lunatic. We cannot worship both time and eternity. We are what we decide to be. We will be what we worship. Life, marriage, children, home, possessions, etc…are not to be worshiped, neither are they meant to be abused. Rather, they are here to serve me, help me, encourage me and support me towards holiness. My spouse and children are not objects. They are gifts from God of his amazing love for me. They have all been sent from above to help me achieve perfection. They are what I need to reach my home.
Today, let us realize once and for all that all that we have on earth is a means to an end, and that end will appear in all its glory at the end of my life. “Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full” (Ps 17:15b). Heavenly Father, inspire us to aspire YOU and our eternal home. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.