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Monday, February 23, 2015

How we use our freedom will define what it will be like for us when we face the Lord in judgment. Let’s make sure we see each other in heaven - Daily Reflections February 23,2015



BE BLAME WORTHY TO BE PRAISEWORTHY

When former NBA legend Magic Johnson announced to the world that he had contracted the dreaded virus HIV that leads to AIDS, he was calm and composed. In a later interview, he revealed that when he learned about his condition, his initial question to God was, “Why me?” A commentator in a related article suggested that while Magic could ask, “Why me?” he should also ask, “Why not?”
       I think the commentator’s point is that when good things happen to us, we take it as a matter of course. But when bad things happen to us, we instinctively ask, “Why me?” We are quick to embrace praise even when we don’t deserve it, but we are slow to admit blame even when we deserve it. My point is this: We are responsible beings. We are gifted with reason, freedom and free will. Because of this, we can be praiseworthy. But by the same token, we are also blameworthy.
       There is a spirituality that tends to focus only on the salvation of God — He is love and merciful, everyone will be saved. I call this the feel-good Christianity. While there is good reason to believe so and to hope so, it is grossly irresponsible to ignore that God is also just. Today’s Gospel illustrates this clearly. When the Lord comes in the end times, we will be judged. Some will be saved (v. 34), some will be damned (v. 41).
       Ask any Bible-reading Catholic what John 3:16 says and at the blink of an eye, they would surely rattle off: “For God so loved the world...” But ask the same persons what Revelations 3:16 says, and you would be lucky if one or two would know what it is about. God Himself is speaking there. He says, “...because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” No wonder very few pay attention to it.
       We are quick to claim praise, but we are slow to admit blame. May we not forget — if we are not blameworthy, we cannot also be praiseworthy. Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTION: How we use our freedom will define what it will be like for us when we face the Lord in judgment. Let’s make sure we see each other in heaven.

Make me Your constant steward, Lord. May I dispose all of me to glorify Your name. Amen.

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