OUR FAITH - & WHY WE MUST LIVE IT
Our eternal life is not just for Sundays!
But why should I give it any thought? Yes, I believe in God (sort of - haven't given it much thought), I'm an all right sort of person; I haven't done anything too bad, and I really haven't got time to sit around contemplating spiritual stuff that I don't understand, and as for reading the Bible - please!
Really? REALLY? If we believe in God, even 'sort of', surely that must be the most important thing in our lives! That must mean we have a destination. It means something happens to us after this life. And THAT must mean that it matters how we live our lives now. Doesn't it? We are made for a relationship with God. He made us to know him. He has been waiting for us since the beginning of time, he has loved us for so long and explains himself to us....yes... through the bible. He is in our lives right now and we dare to ignore him?
Of course God is love, we know that - we have been told that from our childhoods. He died for our sins, so yes he loves us. But not a soft sentimental love, not a love that indulges our whims, and turns a blind eye to our sins. God is awesome (yes, really), huge, terrifying. Listen to this:
The Lord's voice resounding on the waters,
the Lord on the immensity of waters;
the voice of the Lord, full of power, the voice of the Lord, full of splendour.
The Lord's voice shattering the cedars, the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon;
he makes Lebanon leap like a calf and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The Lord's voice flashes flames of fire.
The Lord's voice shaking the wilderness, the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh;
the Lord's voice rending the oak tree and stripping the forest bare.
The Lord of glory thunders.
In his temple they all cry: 'Glory!'
The Lord sat enthroned over the flood, the Lord sits as king for ever.
The Lord will give strength to his people, the Lord will bless his people with peace.
And we dare to defy him? To ignore him? The God who parted the Red Sea and drowned Pharaoh's men. Mmm.....And he tells us he will be with us always, even to the end of time. He comes to us in a special way, through the Eucharist during every Mass. God, who walked by the Sea of Galilee and cooked fish for his friends on the shore, comes to us, body, blood, soul and divinity to embrace us, to envelop us, to actually come into our bodies so that we can become one with Him. Many of his followers left him and refused to countenance that we could remember him in this way, but he insisted that what he was saying was literal. It is his way of staying with us, of affecting all our senses, of being truly within us. He is God - His ways are not our ways.
So what does He want me to do? Well, we have to get to know Him. How do we get to know anybody? We talk, we listen, we are helpful......after all, we need to be God's hands and feet to do what he would do. We have faith in who he is. Say a lot of words that bore me? Probably not. Not if we don't mean them. But perhaps we should try and understand where those words came from, the tradition that started from when the Apostles took the baton from Jesus' hand. We listen to the Church Fathers, those who learned from the Apostles themselves. We listen to God talking to us through the bible - yes, those words are for us, all of them. We 'switch on' to God. We learn how God's son, Jesus was foreshadowed in the Old Testament. It makes it come alive for us. Suddenly it's not some strange story of 2000 years ago, but it's now - it's right here and now.
Look behind you - Jesus is there!