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For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not parish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
We are past the half way mark for Lent. We are coming to the end. But we are not there just yet. There is still much more work to be done. Some sins still need to be forgiven. Some progress still needs to be made. We may have more work than there are days, but we cannot give in or give up. We must fight till the end and fight till we win!
When I wake up in the morning there are many things I have to do, but there are only two things that I must do. They are the same two things that God asks all of us to do: Humble thyself and fight for thyself.
God does not ask us to do anything he himself is not prepared to do. Christ humbled himself; taking on the form of a slave, and he fought for himself; he would not allow sin to enter into him. Humble thyself and fight for thyself. Lent is the ideal time of year to do both things.
Humble Thyself. Just recently I officiated at a funeral for a beloved mother and grandmother that had recently passed away. I was pleased to have met her before her passing and I knew she had played a significant role in her children’s and grandchildren’s lives. While I was giving my homily, I could tell that the grandchildren were not really paying attention to what I had to say. They were in shock and disbelief in seeing grandma reduced to a little urn. I could tell what they were thinking: Is that it? Is that all there is to her? Is that what we reduce life to: a little box? Well, I wasn’t about to let this opportunity pass. I began to speak to them. I said, “Listen to me my dear children, I know what you are thinking. Is this all that is left of our great grandma? Is this what life reduces itself to: a box? No. Our life is not remarkable because of our size. Our life is remarkable because it is significant. And the more you love, the more significant you become. God is not significant to me because he is a giant compared to me. God is significant to me because He gave His Son for me. God is significant to me because He loves me. In fact, Christ said, the smaller you make yourself, the greater you make yourself. God’s son became small so that I could become great. So remember, what makes us memorable is not our size. What makes us memorable is how we loved. And your grandma knew how to love. And that’s why you have tears in your eyes.”
God loves us. He is on our side. The Lord is rich in mercy (cf.Eph 2:4-10). But is He similar to a rich bachelor uncle who has a million dollars and no one to share it with? What does the Lord have to do? He is inviting us to share in his mercy. Go get some!
Fight for Thyself. Fight to avoid evil. Fight to avoid falling into sin. Acquire a distaste for sin. How? By reflecting and meditating on what a waste of time sin is. Yes, sin is a waste of time, a waste of resources and energy, a waste of my life. Sin does not only offend God, it offends me! Do you belong to the 99%? That is, do you belong to the 99% of sinners? Yes. And do you belong to the 1% that seeks forgiveness? I hope so. Fight for thyself. And if you fall, then seek forgiveness; and then fight for yourself!
We are half way to the end of Lent. But we cannot stop there. We cannot live half way our relationship with Christ, or even half way our relationship with our spouse and our children. It has to be all or nothing. Nicodemus only went half way with the Lord. He came to him only at night. I believe St. John reflected upon this fact by saying: “The light came into the world, but people preferred darkness over the light" (Jn 3:16-20). Nicodemus thought He had too much to lose; too many friends, neighbors and work associates. He never thought about what he could possibly gain! So he never came during the day. And in the end, he never came around at all. He never became a follower, an Apostle of the Lord. He feared the crowd too much. Do I fear the crowd too? Am I reluctant to speak up when others speak down on Christ and His Church? Am I afraid of what others may think of me?
It doesn’t seem to worry atheists and secularists.
Don’t give in. Don’t give up. Fight till the end. Fight till you win! God loves me. This is all I need to know. This is all I need to share.