How to Overcome.
For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected when received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the invocation of God in prayer.
Thank you for joining as we celebrate this special day in the life of our Church while simultaneously continuing our journey through Lent.
Over the past six weeks (can you believe it has been that long?) we have identified the hot stoves of sin in our lives, those dangers we love to run toward. We have set to work at getting rid of them. Those old, hot, rusty, greasy, ugly things in our lives must go.
With that in mind, we discussed the tools available to us that help us get rid of those sin problems. They are the same tools Jesus used and exemplified for us: prayer, studying scripture, speaking about the kingdom, fasting, and communing in relationship centered on the Father.
Seems easy enough until we set to doing them. Once we move toward that way of life, a deeper relationship with God, the Tempter enters., He comes with distractions, easy outs, and an appeal to our baser selves.
If we do stay on track, guess what? We will have the same success Jesus had. But the work toward success will be marked by further challenges, namely the Accuser comes forward with blame, he doesnâ€™t want us to succeed or to understand the goodness and mercy our God provides. It is almost a last-ditch effort to have us abandon hope.
Jesus overcame all things for us, from the dessert to the cross. We were chosen by Him. Because of that, we are on the road to heaven. We can indeed overcome all hardship and opposition from both the Tempter and the Accuser, but we must change our attitudes and perspectives. We must solely focus on Jesusâ€™ grant of hope. It is our guarantee!
One-hundred and twenty-six years ago a group of people facing poverty, prejudice, and every form of human accusation and earthly temptation took a stand and instituted this Holy Church, consistent with the pristine Catholic Church of the first centuries. Their work and effort was not for the purpose of being different in a simply outward manner, but intended to represent a complete change in attitude, and change of view toward the same path the earliest of Christians saw in Jesusâ€™ redemption. They knew to trust, and so we must trust.
St. Paul tells the young bishop Timothy to differentiate rightly. We must, as St. Paul warned, avoid those who would teach falsely, who would urge us to reject Godâ€™s good gifts, so that we might clearly perceive and live in them.
Things that are evil, the hot stoves of sin that harm, destroy, hurt, and lessen human dignity cause one to fail in loving God and neighbor (the greatest commandment). Sometimes it can seem obvious, sometimes we just live with sins we have become blind to.
Let us then focus on what God has created, foremost the salvation given to us in Christ Jesus. Let us focus on being part of Him, grafted onto Him. Let us then focus our efforts, our strengths and even our weaknesses into overcoming sin, our blind spots, and bearing fruit abundantly for God, bringing Him all glory.