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Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
A few years back, while I was giving my homily at a wedding, a young woman was listening intently to every single word I said. She recently told me, “Father, what you said that day changed my life forever. I am so glad I went to my friend’s wedding. By the way, that’s the reason why I am asking you to perform my wedding ceremony.” I couldn’t even remember the homily, so I asked her, “What did I say?” She told me that it was very simple: “You said, ‘There is only one thing that God cannot do. He cannot make a mistake.’”
At a funeral Mass I told the congregation, “If you are holding on to any grudges, bitterness or resentment towards a loved one, then I want you to let go of it and find the strength to speak to or visit that person right now!” Not too long after that Mass, I received a message from a stranger who informed me that they had been to that Mass,and had done just that and were happy to have done it.
At another funeral Mass, the sister of the deceased came up to me shaking, took me by the arm to a semi-private spot in the Church and told me, “Father, I have been away from God and the Church for years. I think it is time for me to come back. Will you take me?” I smiled at her and told her, “You are very much welcomed back. We have been waiting a long time for this moment to arrive.”
These are just a few of the most recent incidents I have experienced of people coming back to their senses, coming back to Church, coming back to the Lord. How did it happen? Obviously by means of the Holy Spirit and by preaching the Good News!
“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
The Lord does not condemn. He doesn’t have to. This world will gladly do it for Him. The devil will gladly volunteer to do it for Him. Similar to the Gestapo, the devil will allow us to dig our own grave and bury ourselves in it. There are plenty of stress related illnesses, mental illnesses, eating disorders and undertakers out there that will gladly lend us a hand.
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord. The world is not bad. It is fallen. There is a good and a bad way to live life in this world. Live the Gospel! Live the Good News! The Lord wants to remind us that He is Holy and that the world was created perfectly. Although the seven days of Creation is symbolic, it represents something amazing and very much appealing. It represents perfection! Seven is the symbol for perfection. No wonder why Jesus said, “Forgive those who sin against you seven times seventy-seven times.” And no wonder why the devil is marked by the sign 666, for he is the most imperfect creature of all!
Like the Apostle Paul, let us be agents of the Lord, Apostles of Christ, workers for the Master’s vineyard and slayers of an evil empire. “I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me” (cf. Gal. 2:20)