Called to Live Anew.
â€œBlessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.â€
Anew â€“ it is a word we will focus on for years to come. Now is the time for our next great step together, to call people anew to knowing, loving, and serving the Lord and His Holy Church right here at this parish.
What better way to connect with the word anew than to enter this new season in our Church life, the Season of Septuagesima, Pre-Lent.
This Pre-Lenten season is one in which we prepare ourselves for the rigors of the Lenten season because it is between now and Easter that we endeavor and strive at the vast changes we need in our lives. To live anew we set to the hard work that is a re-valuing of our priorities, and the doing of Godâ€™s work.
Let us start with the one beatitude that is very hard for most of us: Accepting the fact that we will be hated, excluded, insulted, and denounced as evil because we proclaim the name of Jesus. We know it happens to those who follow and speak Jesusâ€™ teachings, because those teachings call worldly people to repentance and change. Who really wants to change and live anew anyway? We know it can and will happen to us as we live anew and call people to know, love, and serve the Lord and His Holy Church
We all want to be liked, we all want to be fabulous, funny, accepted, spectacular, and spoken well of. But there is a cost. The cost is the truth of Godâ€™s word and our place in the Kingdom. So, we set out in this season and the season ahead to re-value what is important and to live the way we must â€“ not should â€“ but must. Life anew.
If we are to live lives anew, things must change in us. We each have those inner issues we need to overcome. We each have attitudes, really bad-i-tudes, that must be rooted out and replaced with Jesusâ€™ beatitudes. We must weigh the cost of silence versus the loss of souls on the scale of eternity and do all we can to speak about our God, our faith, and our Church and how they hold forever promise for each person we encounter.
Knowing we live in the Kingdom of God we must be willing to accept polite and not so polite noâ€™s when we invite people to meet Jesus, to join us in fellowship. We must be willing to speak truth in the face of worldly values so that hearts might be converted, and people might be saved.
So let us start now, living anew in each encounter and invite others to that same new life for Jesusâ€™ sake no matter the outcome. If we do, we hold onto our forever promise and await the day weÂ rejoice and leap for joyÂ as we accept Jesusâ€™ great reward in heaven.Â