by Fr. Pio Vottola, O.Praem.
St. James admonishes the early Christians and us not to show partiality towards the rich and well-to-do over the poor amongst ourselves in the Church. He reminds us to fulfill the royal law according to the scriptures, Love your neighbor as yourself.
Paired with the Gospel, Holy Mother Church reminds us not to show partiality even regarding the will of God in our lives. The Lord Jesus, the Christ, accepted suffering and then glory so that all that we endure would have redemptive value. Now, this question Our Lord asks the Apostles, “Who do you say that I am?” Do we realize we are asked this question every day of our lives? Do we think that having supernatural faith exempts us from knowing He is Christ and yet thinking as humans do about His will for us? We have to answer with our very lives and actions as well as with our words.
Each day we need humility and trust in God! Trust in how He thinks! In His will! Not ours. How beautiful we hear several times about truly sincere crying, like Saint Evermode; Bl. Hugh because Norbert had humbled himself from his noble status. May God give us the grace of compunction, so that we can shed our self-will in our own tears, even tears of supplication. The more we abandon our own will and allow God to fill us with Himself, and His will, that is the key.
As Peter, we need to let go of how we think things need to be! Relinquish how you think how a situation should go or how another must act in this circumstance, how this teacher should go about this, this classmate should do this, this coworker should act like this, how this family member should respond to this, how this confrere should know he does this, how my prayer time should go, how my apostolate should be successful, or even which apostolate I should have in order to affect the most people. Get rid of all that and allow God to work! Stop thinking as man does, and allow God’s Will to fill your life and actions. The peace that that can give us! Then, no matter what happens; trials, pain, suffering, failure… God will give it all meaning and value and transform it.
Don’t ever be discouraged! Humble yourself! Trust in God! Keep singing while you have voice left! Keep moving forward and persevering! Keep going to confession! Keep praying! Keep doing God’s will! We can do this! Be encouraged that with humility, trust, and in charity, we will have a good day! We will have a fruitful Lent! We will have a good life! And we will end together in heaven because our very lives, not only our words, will declare to Jesus: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!
In this lies all our hope, that we belong to Him and so we do His will.
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During this season of penance and mercy, the evil spirit, always envious of the human race, seeks to prevent us from profiting from God’s grace. His strategy is clever and manifold.
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