Like the disciples in the Gospel today, we too can be unaware of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ, and why we say He is the Messiah, God, Savior and just how is it that we are saved. Of all world religions, Christianity is unique. It is the only one announced before hand by God. It is the only one founded by a human claiming to be God. We are saved not by our own effort, but by God's with whom we are called to be in relationship with, to know, to love, and to follow.
You heard it said much today that you can do anything you put your mind too. Although this message can do much good, the message today is that all things are possible ONLY with God. That is things according to His will, and with His help. What Good is it if we gain the whole world, yet in the process loose our soul? Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all these other things will be provided as well. Seek the Wisdom of God, Jesus, and follow Him.
Marriage is a sacrament, instituted by God originally, and restored by Jesus because of our hardness of heart. God is love and we are created in His image and likeness, to love faithfully. We in our weakness fail, but God wants to "Supercharge" our lives to help us live the highest call in faithful love to each other, and to Jesus. Unlike other sacraments that we receive only during some moments in our lives we receive and live the sacrament of marriage 24/7.
One can speak without anyone listening. One cannot listen without an other. Listening builds relationships. It is one of the greatest gifts we can give another, to help relationship grow. God is our first relationship. Do we listen to God. Listening to God is a Discipline, and Art, and a Gift of God, that He wants us to have, so that then we can speak clearly words of wisdom and love; words that build up others and make the world a better place. One of the powerful ways that God gives us to speak, is in praying for others. But I wonder, does prayer change God's mind? Or can it change our mind and hearts and make God's will become a reality? It is a mystery, but we are co-creators with God, not only through our work, but our words, and especially our prayers.
As the people are about to enter the Promised Land, Moses reminds the people of how good and important the law is that God gave them, and that they must keep it to flourish. But in the Gospel, it seems Jesus is encouraging us to break the law? It is because laws have a purpose, and Jesus tells us elsewhere the laws to Love God and Love Neighbor are the basis of all law. These readings remind us that the purpose of law is to help us love others better, sacrificing self for the common good. As we debate our laws in both the church and society, let us keep in mind the purpose of law and not fail to love as we strive to make a just society through law, thus giving other an image of God's love.
Jesus says "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life". Does not Jesus say in John 3:16 that whoever believes is saved? Must I receive the Eucharist? In John chapter 3 Jesus also says you must be baptized to be saved? Which of the three statements are correct; you must believe, you must be baptized, you must receive the Eucharist? Perhaps it is not which one, but all three. The Church is an essential part of our salvation, founded by Jesus and the Eucharist is Jesus' continued presence entrusted to the Church. God is everywhere, but the Eucharist, and the Church are... well.. in Church! We not only believe as individuals, but become members of His body, that is the Church. This is the fullness of salvation given and commanded by Christ.
The book of Revelation is not a prediction of future events, but a seeing of the times and history of the early Church in light of the spiritual reality that underlies all history. The feast of the Assumption of Mary gives the same message. Both messages give Hope to humanity in difficult historical times, reminding those suffering that Christ has already won the victory over evil, sin and death. We can have faith and persevere for Christ will come again to restore all things as God originally intended; a new heaven, earth, our bodies, and all creation will be restored. The same message is true for us in these difficult times.
God answers our prayers and loves to give us good things. But God wants more than that. He Thirsts for us to Know and Love Him, the giver of the gifts. The Good things he gives us are signs that point us to Him. Let us not get stuck at the sign, but go deeper to what it is pointing to. God invites us to seek Him, know Him, know His Love for us, and respond in Love by serving Him.
If we seek first the Kingdom of God, God will provide for our physical needs. This frees us to be generous to others. At times we feel we cannot address an issue, or are at the end of our rope and have no more. But God invites us, take what little you have left, offer it to Me, and I will multiply it. This one act can help us in our personal lives, and with all the world's many problems.