Offers food for thought
In our time, just as it was between the Sadducees and the Pharisees, within the universal church there is a lot of division about what is authoritatively the Word of God. There are some sister churches that don’t accept the book of Maccabee’s which gives us today’s first reading, and makes their theology and understanding of heaven, hell and purgatory different from ours. Our own church is the victim of vehemently competing visions of what the scriptures contain about discernable truth of God is as it relates to Marriage, Sexuality, Sacraments, Human dignity and more. Add to that, the even more complicated and aggressive secular world in which we live. It is full of influences that are contrary to even the most commonly and strongly held tenets of the faith and they can affect our understanding of God’s truth, the strength of our faith and the way in which we choose to justify our actions.
What is a disciple of Christ to do? With so much division among theologians, Bishops, Priests, teachers, politicians, doctors, scientists, friends and family… how does a disciple come to a firmness of faith and understanding of truth that, if the time came, they could be like the brothers in the first reading and become martyrs?
How do we take seriously, what St Paul tells us in the Second Reading, not to depend on our own strength, but on God's and to keep our friendship with Christ alive and healthy, because he will never let us fall into error? Obviously, it seems, that a lot of disciples of Christ and former disciples of Christ, have fallen into error even as they prayed for God’s help.
We already know the answer. It may not be the same for each of us and most of us prefer a different one, because we don’t like to admit that it is something in us that causes the problems. However, the test about what we believe and how we live our faith with integrity, will always be same. Christ is himself the sifter of wheat and chaff, truth and error. Just as he was in today’s Gospel. In Christ, the truth became perfectly expressed.
St Irenaeus, Bishop, who was a 2nd century ‘church father’ as a teacher and defender of the faith, said “The glory of God is a person fully alive”. Who is that person? The one who has firmly and completely submitted to God, is a fully alive person.
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Peace doesn't just happen; it's made.
CampusPadre is a college ministry Priest Chaplain with 30 years experience in youth and young adult ministry, who strives to let the Holy Spirit lead and challenges students to seek holiness above all.