November 28, 2018
Jesus said, “By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” Lk_21:12-19
The marathon runner will practice for months or years to be able to endure a 26.2-mile run. And save for the seasoned expert seeking a win, most marathoners find their joy in just making it to the finish line; a goal that would not even be possible, without their dedicated perseverance in practice.
Now let’s “up the ante.” Instead of having the option of a retry in the next marathon if we couldn’t complete this race, suppose this race was the very last one! And instead of a win or try again option, this race had a life or death ending.
And to go even one step further, this is not a “life” – in continuance of what we’ve already experienced (with its disappointments, and its sicknesses, its pain and its momentary joys). This a LIFE like we never knew was possible, a life of inexhaustible joy and peace, a life of true happiness and eternal bliss! And, on the other hand, this is not a “death” in the sense of a final ending to all of the painful struggles of life, as we knew it, a final reprieve. This is a death of eternal, NEVER ENDING suffering!
Now, let’s ask how devoted
our perseverance would be!
And the common answer that we tend to hear is, “Oh I don’t believe all that heaven and hell stuff.” And the common response would be, “Oh well, it’s your life!” But that is NOT the giving-up response that Jesus has modeled for us, who DO believe! For us who DO believe, their care-less, denial answer pains us to the core! Because we don’t want to see anyone, even our worst enemies, wind up suffering the eternal damnation of the absence of God, simply because they refused to believe in God, or because they freely chose that path out of ignorance, or pride, or selfishness, or arrogance. Because our core of LOVE, encompasses everyone, just like Jesus (who, in Love, gave Himself for us), just like God our Father (who Created us out of His infinite Love), and just like the Holy Spirit (who is with us, in Love, with every breath we take).
You see, beloved, unlike the perseverance of a solitary marathon runner fighting the will to continue, in our race of life, we have an advocate. An advocate who helps us carry our “yoke.” An advocate who gives us the answers in perfect time. An advocate who wants nothing less than to see EVERY human being reach their eternal destination of LIFE in union with God and with one another. The perfect human family, living in divinity!
Jesus said, in all of your trials and persecutions: “Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. … You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.” ibid
By OUR perseverance, with the help of Jesus, we WILL secure our lives!
Now, how many other lives can we help secure – for our love of Jesus, and for our love of them!
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