April 11, 2018
(St. Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr)
God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. Jn_3:16-21
In John’s symbolic and spiritual way, he often talks about:
– the Light vs the Darkness,
– the Good vs the Evil,
– Salvation vs Condemnation and
– Eternal Life vs Spiritual Death.
And even though most of those concepts may seem a little difficult to actually put a finger on, to explain to a 2-year old, we experience their tug in our lives every day.
- Do we take that shortcut through the Dark pathway,
or do we walk in the safety of the Light?
- Do we give our last dollar to that street beggar,
or just turn away?
- Do we strike out with our tongues, condemning others,
or do we always look in the mirror first?
You see, it all comes down to Choice. And the big question is: Do we make that Choice purely based on our own decision-making ability, or are we willing to rely on the help of an “Expert?” And if we choose to rely on that Expert, do we truly and always Trust – in HIS answer?
Do we truly Believe?
The Catechism (679) tells us that: “Unbelief is a form of rebellion that puts offenders outside the safety of the Covenant.” And that, “to reject the Son of God is to reject the light of faith in preference to spiritual darkness, death, and disinheritance.”
We heard a ‘case in point’ in our Reading from the Book of Acts, today (Acts_5:17-26).
The Sadducees, who St. Paul tells us, did not believe in the Resurrection of the dead, ‘put all their eggs in the basket’ of Physical Life. And in doing so, in believing that Death was the very end of it all, their primary concern in life was its physical self-preservation.
And their Physical self-preservation and narcissism gave rise to jealousies over who looked or sounded better than they.
And their jealousies led to hatreds;
And their hatreds led to murders.
And their murders condemned them to the darkness of fear and eventually to their own – Spiritual Death.
And so, in the process of trying to preserve or enhance their Physical lives, they wound up destroying both their Spiritual and their Physical lives, because both ARE actually, inseparably UNITED!
The Apostles, on the other hand, with their steadfast LOVE for God and their unwavering Belief in Jesus, were not only delivered from imprisonment back into the Light of Freedom, but by obediently and fearlessly choosing to follow God’s directions, directions given to them through His angel, by choosing the Good and the Truth, they BECAME the Light and the Truth, the Good, and the Source of Salvation for all who chose to believe in Jesus through their words.
St. Stanislaus, the Bishop and Patron Saint of Poland, whom we celebrate today, also chose to fearlessly depend upon Jesus, our Expert, to protect the poor, to teach the faithful, and to defend his loved ones from the wrath of a tyrant king.
And like the Apostles, and like Jesus, St. Stanislaus forfeited his Physical Life for the Eternal Life that Jesus promised to all who BELIEVE!
“For God so loved the world that
He gave His only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in Him
might not perish,
but might have eternal life”
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