WE KNOW THE ROAD
As we journey through this message series we are discovering that we do know the direction we need to go, so that all the things happening in the world do not overwhelm us. We know that we need God and must take that road of faith so that we not only survive the pandemic and possibly those other challenges in our lives, but we realize that God’s path is true freedom and peace in the midst of the storms.
The pathway of faith is rich, empowering and healing but it takes courage and a great amount of humility. We cannot endure alone and we need to embrace the gift of God to start creating positive momentum. The question that we need to ask ourselves — Is it in you?
FAITH & GATORADE
Everyone knows the energy enriching sports drink called GATORADE and many will remember the many Michael Jordan commercials. About 19 years ago the Gatorade slogan was “IS IT IN YOU?” In one of the commercials there were different non-famous athletes competing in various sports and the bottom line of the advertisement showed you that if Gatorade was in you, you would be able to perform at the highest level. This product would give you strength to compete—maybe even to win.
What about our faith? What happens if we approached the gift of God’s love in the same way and asked ourselves how much His love could truly change our lives? If we have God in our hearts and souls can we persevere or even thrive? Could we go beyond our expectations and actually overcome the obstacles in our lives? We don’t have to search very far to find God in our lives. We certainly don’t have to go to the store and buy God’s grace in a bottle—he is already in us, the key is to know that he is there and embrace that love anew each and everyday.
HOW IS GOD IN US?
God is the source of all life and we are reminded in the Book of Genesis that we are made in the image and likeness of God. God’s breath gave us life and ultimately through the incarnation, God became one of us so that we can be like God. Through a simple search of our hearts, we can find many ways God is with us and within us.
(1) THE HOLY SPIRIT
In the Sacrament of Baptism we are infused and anointed with the Holy Spirit so that we become children of God. We promise to follow Christ and he promises to always walk with us.
In the Sacrament of Confirmation we receive a strengthening of the Holy Spirit and are fully initiated members of the Church empowered on mission to share the Good News. There is no question that the Holy Spirit helps us hear the voice of Christ and clearly guides us when we seek His counsel.
(2) THE EUCHARIST
Through the power of the Holy Spirit the bread and wine offered at our Masses are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ. We receive Jesus in the Eucharist to be fed, strengthened and healed so that we can be true disciples and bearers of the Good News. We become Christ for one another.
As we catch up with our First Communions this fall, I see the joy, faith and love of our young candidates who are excited to receive Jesus. That joy and anticipation reminds me of the sacred duty I have when I celebrate Mass at the altar—Jesus comes to us in a special and powerful way.
(3) IN OTHERS
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we all have seen so many people reach out, support and care for one another. We have a number of volunteers in the parish who have stepped up and we ourselves have reached out to help. That is what we are called to do and when that happens—we see Christ in one another.
The gratitude, appreciation and selfless acts of love reveal a grace within us that fills us up—that is the presence of God. That fullness lifts us up and allows us in those moments to see creation in totality—maybe best described as a glimpse of the divine. When we know we are doing God’s will and that he is working through us, we are overwhelmed with light!!
GOD IS IN ME—NOW WHAT?
I think most of us can say that Christ dwells in our hearts and souls. We know what we are supposed to do but sometimes we forget that we need to activate and engage that grace to allow God to consume our lives. When we step in sync with God’s grace, we see the world very differently. In fact, I think we then become most fully alive.
This does not make us do amazing and super profound things (usually) but having God guide us in the simplicity of life allows us to overcome the storms, create momentum and change the world. Here is an example of a young man on the road to sainthood who lived his faith daily and quietly sharing who he is with the world inspired by God.
BLESSED CARLO ACUTIS
Blessed Carlo was only 15 years old when he died of leukemia in 2006. He was a simple kid who loved computers, friends and faith. He went to Mass as often as he could trying to draw close to Christ. He used his computer skills to catalogue all the Eucharistic miracles around the world in the months before his death. He offered his pain from cancer for both Pope Benedict XVI and the Church.
Carlo was concerned about his friends, the poor, disabled and everyone in need. He helped all those around him quietly with great love. He said, “I’m happy to die because I’ve lived my life without wasting even a minute of it doing things that wouldn’t have pleased God.”
What we do now, with God in our hearts, released to guide our lives, is to live each and everyday not wasting our time on things that would not please Him. God is the source of our happiness and spending our lives pleasing Him by loving, serving and sacrificing changes our lives and the world.
Is He in us?? Absolutely. Let’s discover God in our hearts feeing Him to guide us in our daily lives, sharing our gifts, talents and passions to make this world full of grace, love and peace.