Fr. John Ehrich
Fr. John Ehrich
There on the mountain, Moses communed with God for many years and brought back the promises to . This period of time was a well known to the followers of Jesus. So when they witness Christ being raised up, shown with Moses and Elijah, they know he is truly the Messiah. This means He is truly their deliverer and prophetic figure that the hearts of many were waiting for.
What are our hearts waiting for? What future or unfulfilled promises do we carry with us; maybe even ask God to deliver us from? If Jesus is the Son of God, who died and rose and made manifestation our salvation, are we relying on Him during this Lenten time? The three theological virtues (Faith, Hope, and Love) can help us entrust ourselves to Christ’s light for healing, restoration and deliverance. As we hear and reflect more about Christ’s death, we can be reminded of our own mortality, our own suffering and hardship that we can bring the the altar, especially during this season of Lent. We are creatures destined for eternity - we should not forget that, but rather remind ourselves to remain steadfast in the victory of His love.
We all know friends or people in our own lives who truly struggle. No matter their upbringing, circumstances, issues such as addiction or abuse and their repercussions can be a damaging and lifelong battle for many people we might know intimately. Seeing the humanity of a person and the desperate reality they live in can be a very humbling sight. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to hear confession?
It is a theme among a large number of people that we all are striving to be better despite ourselves. Seeing a priest as a conduit for God's Grace is a way to present themselves honestly and to make real moves to improve and make changes. Though we may struggle with the same sins constantly, it is a comfort to know how universal our human suffering can be. This idea also emphasizes a greater need for consistent compassion and nonjudgement when we interact with one another. When we see each other on a human level, we can see how remarkable each of us are as we acknowledge the many demons that we all face daily. We all carry great burdens. Our Heavenly Father wants us to love our enemies, to be challenged to see one another’s true selves and be kind no matter what.
It’s been said by many scholars of scripture that “Jesus is more about love than the law;” a statement that we can be attentive to. How easy it is for us, as members of nations, societies, religions, and clubs, to use language such this, which often can be dichotomous, dualistic or black/white thinking.
While the lasting and promised mercy of Christ is certainly apart of our salvation, could it not be said that Jesus is “about” both love and the law? The two terms can be intertwined especially in the ways that Jesus expounds upon the law in today’s gospel. For example, Jesus explains that not only is the action of adultery or hate sin, but the very thoughts and mentality that lead up to those actions can also be culpable. Our heart is the very thing Jesus is after, not our good deeds.
It’s important to remember that there is definitely an eternal value to our actions and that confession is an important element to how we treat our humanness. There can be two ways we deal with this internal reality. Sometimes we want to go to confession every day “just to be safe,” or contrastingly, rely too much on the mercy of God without truly accounting for ourselves.
We all struggle with various sins we’ve committed and we can feel guilty. Some may question how merciful God is. “Can His love really be that endless? That good?” As serious and vast as our need for mercy may be, so to is the mercy he gives us. Let us turn to the only person who can truly be the last Word in our eternal standing. To a God who incorporates both love and law to help us be our truest, inherently good and beautiful selves.
Have you ever been stuck in a room of total darkness? It can be terrifying to be in that disorienting situation, trying to stumble through to find a light switch and not trip over anything. Once the lights are suddenly turned on, we are immediately comforted and can see the reality of our surroundings, feeling much better. The divine revelation of our faith says that the world was in darkness, searching as lost children. When Christ came, He illuminated that darkness and brought deep peace while pointing us in the right direction. We are called to be the hands of feet of God by bringing that light into the world as well. Today’s gospel asks us to consider whether we bring light/dark, positivity/negativity, kindness/resentment, harmony/discord to the our own reality. In being light to others, we allow ourselves to Also bring Christ into the room.