August 9, 2022

August 14, 2022 ~ 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

IWillFollow 20i4 4c

An inward transformation occurs in a person who decides to follow Jesus Christ. Things change. They see the world differently, understand their journey more deeply and profoundly, have their sights fixed on eternity and union with God and hold themselves to higher standards and virtues. It requires a conscious choice to be a Christian, and this choice must be renewed at least daily. While the basic premise of Jesus’ message may appear heartwarming and straightforward: love of God, neighbor, and self, the implications of doing so are challenging. The true disciple is called to live radically, and often finds themselves at odds with the world or even with those in their own homes.

Holding ourselves to higher standards comes with a price. We have to leave other things behind. It is difficult to be people of faith, hope, and love in a world often fixated with its own fulfillment and self-absorption. Justice, temperance, prudence, and fortitude require sacrifice if they are to be lived with integrity. God’s ways are not ours. This becomes crystal clear to those who have enough courage to stand against the tide. Putting love into action requires that we challenge accepted modes of doing business and fight complacency. This is what makes the saints stand out as witnesses. They are simply sinners, just like us, who persevere.

People do not want to be told that they’re sailing their ships in the wrong direction. Clinging to their insistence and need to be correct, they can become defensive when challenged. This can happen even with those closest to us. As much as the Gospel calls us to unity, it also can easily create division. When we love seriously, we encounter more than feelings of warmth and acceptance. “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like (St. Augustine).”  Love also has the courage and honesty to tell people what they may not want to hear but need to, and model, without wavering, a life of humble, loving, and faithful service. Don’t lose heart! There are many examples of faith before us and around us. If Jesus endured the voices of opposition, so too can we. There is no need to apologize for speaking the truth. ©LPi


14 de agosto de 2022 ~ 20º Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario

El fuego de Dios divide y manda sus chispas en diferentes direcciones. Conflictos y diferentes opiniones surgen entre sus fieles cuando es rechazado ese fuego. De ahí, precisamente, emergen los santos mártires que mueren dando su vida por el Evangelio.  Hombres y mujeres, encendidos por el amor, dan su testimonio de vida siendo testigos fieles en momentos de dificultad. ¿Has vivido algún momento de esos en tu vida cotidiana? ¿Has defendido los valores del Evangelio? ¿De hecho, cómo te fue?

Jesús no admite personas a medias tintas, o estas a favor del Reino de amor, paz, y justicia o estás contra él. La compasión y la caridad de Dios se oponen al egoísmo que muchas veces se alberga en el corazón humano. La primera lectura nos describe la sordera del pueblo contra el profeta Jeremías: “Entonces se apoderaron de Jeremías y lo echaron al pozo… En el pozo no había agua, sino puro fango. Y Jeremías se hundió en el fango” (Jeremías 38,6). Para defender la justicia y armarnos de valor, el Papa Francisco en su catequesis nos enseña lo siguiente: “El fuego del amor, encendido por Cristo en el mundo por medio del Espíritu Santo, es un fuego sin límites, es un fuego universal. Esto se vio desde los primeros tiempos del cristianismo: el testimonio del Evangelio se propagó como un incendio benéfico superando toda división entre individuos, categorías sociales, pueblos y naciones”.  Ese fuego está en nosotros desde el Bautismo. ©LPi