Living Joyful Lives in The Lord
The following is a compilation of thoughts and words from the Parish Mission:
Why people seemed to be more engaged in church activities in the past then today. There is a Sociological Truth that needs to addressed.
1) Years ago, there was a cultural norm, and if people didn’t go to Mass, there would be some pressure. Peoples’ lives gravitated around the parish.
2) Intentional Discipleship – we need to know why we have to share our faith.
3) The New Evangelization is not really for the unbeliever, but rather to the believer.
JOY (Jesus – Others – You)
When, and if we JUMP, we need to let it go, understanding where we are and where we want to go.
Who are we? This is a powerful question and we need to ask God. Most of our answers contributes to diminish our Joy. So, we really need to ask God the question: “who am I.” If we allow all those answers that are not God to fill our hearts, then GOD IS JUST A HOBBY.
People have the tendency to tell God: “you can’t fix this (our soul)”. The Woman in the Well allowed Jesus touch her soul. The encounter of God’s thirsty for us and our thirsty for Him.
God is Real
God is not a prevention of things we don’t like. God is real, because we cannot change God, as we cannot change people’s physical or background. We need to affirm this constantly, because we try to change God all the time – adapting, configuring, according to us. How can we understand the real God when we are surrounded by so many social idols.
In the mist of all this, there is the single most essential truth: God desperately searches for us. God chooses to reveal himself to us. God cares and loves us and takes the leap towards us long before we even think to jump to Him. That takes us to the Bible story about the woman who lost her coin. That “coin” is “us”. The finding of the coin is a description of the whole story of salvation, the essential truth of our faith.
Who we are?
We must ask God “Who am I?” In the Bible we have the story of Nathaniel who asks “Who am I?” When God jumps to us, we need to ask Him who we are, and if we don’t ask then something else will fill that blank – “Who am I.” We more often allow other things to define who we are – “I am ……..”
We need to turn to the community – breaking of the bread, evangelize, sharing and witnessing when we turn to the community of faith.
Most people approach the question of MERCY as emotion. We should make an act of the “will” – forgiving ourselves. Pope Benedict says “The simple mark of human being is the power of forgive.”
Many people of the faith are not coming to Mass. Why? People have taken God as a hobby. We must ask ourselves, “is God part of my decisions, allowing my faith to align those decisions.”
Matt 19 – the rich man asks what do I still lack.
God is Good
How good is He? His care for us is beyond our wild imagination.
We have to approach GOD with our questions, and be patient enough to wait for his answers.
The Christian prays without conditions, especially to God.
Some believe God makes us wait on purpose. But God invites us to wait.
Some times we see our faith ugly and dirt. But we believe in God’s providence when we profess our faith.
In our lives, if we get the God-Man right he will keep the world all together.
God reveals to us in three persons. God reveals himself as a community of persons, distinct but relational, defined by their distinctiveness. In His most essence he is a community.
We don’t define ourselves by our autonomy.
God is love. John 3:16 – This is love! “For this is love ….”
We need to make a personal decision for Jesus Christ.
Each day we called to say YES and jump, leap for God. We must give God 100% as we give 100% to work, to sport, to music, to so many things that demand our urges.
Jesus Christ is our savior because we need a savior. What is he saving us from? From the kingdom of sin and death.
It is OK to be who we are, let God enter and work in our lives, so that by His Grace and Glory we are fully alive.
We find joy when our self-possession and inter-dynamic of love is pointing to self-donation, and then our joy is complete.
The single most essential truth is: God desperately searches for us. God leaps to us. We need to leap back to God.
Let God enter and work 100% in your life, so that by His Grace and Glory you are fully alive.