Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Never Give Up!

From the Hermitage

Easter Tuesday 2014

Dear Friends,

Listen to what the Jewish people hear from Peter:  "this Jesus whom you crucified" you must realize now that he is both Lord and Christ.  And imagine you are standing there with the people who hear this horrible words.  What do you see?  It is not the same spirit that was in the hearts of some who were calling out "Crucify him.  Crucify him."  No, what we encounter is a people who are "cut to the heart."  They seem to recognize their guilt and want to get themselves on the right way.  Peter is not angry, is not pointing his finger at them in condemnation.  No, what Peter said to them was that it was not too late for them to feel spiritual healing, forgiveness for what has happened.  Repent and you will be graced by the Holy Spirit.  At the same time Peter tells them their repentance and what they can say to their children and "to all those far off" will bring the gift of forgiveness."  Forgiveness comes from God, the Father, "to all those far off."  Peter exhorted the Jews who came to him to "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation."

The message from the one who denied knowing Christ during the trial of Jesus affirms for the people and all generations to come that it is never too late to walk away from sin, to give up whatever it is that holds a person back from knowing Jesus and what he taught us.

Do you always or most often think of Jesus as dead?  Peter's assurance to all generations is that he is not dead, that he indeed has risen from the dead as he said he would.  This is the message we receive each day:  it is never too late to shed whatever sinfulness separates a God-given life from his love and care.

Did you succeed in fulfilling the hopes and perhaps promises made on Ash Wednesday?  Friends, it is never too late to accomplish what you must have considered important for your life at this time.  If sin persists, repentance will bring participation in the graces of the Holy Spirit.

The challenge for us who have so many different ways to know about Jesus -- the bible, writing that are easily had through the world wide web, simple prayer on a consistent basis, regular use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation -- is to never forget that it is never too late to come before God seeking pardon and reconciliation, sharing in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Oremus pro invicem!  Please help me today with your prayers as I have an especially challenging mission to accomplish for someone .... And it is not easy.  Many thanks!

Fr. Milt