Living the Gospel – July 15, 2018

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As I read through this week’s readings, the 2nd reading from St Paul to the Ephesians really spoke to me. As I read St Paul’s description of the love God has for us, and the lengths he has gone through to allow us to be with him, I was humbled. The God of the universe, creator of all things, loves ME (and YOU) so much that he put together a plan to allow us to be with him. To find our way home to him knowing we would stumble and fall. Knowing we would turn our backs on him at times. Knowing, at times, we would choose the pleasures and riches of this life over him. How often do I think of going to church, or taking time out of my day to read scripture, reflect, and pray as a burden or “work?” How often do I neglect to thank God for the blessings he has bestowed on me in this life? How often do I put myself and my needs above everything else? Even knowing these things would happen, he still chose ME (and YOU) to be with him and to provide a means for that to happen, the sacrifice of his son, Jesus Christ. God loves us more than we can possibly imagine, yet we don’t always appreciate that love or truly understand the depth of that love. If we could truly understand the depth of his love for us, truly know how much he longs for us to be with him, we would be shouting God’s praises from the rooftops, telling everyone we know of his love, for us, and for them. Yet we don’t always (if ever) do that. We let the worries and busyness of this world take over our lives. Church becomes just something we do, God becomes just someone we think about on Sundays. But God and Church need to be something more. They need to be a part of who we are, a part of what defines us, a core part of our lives. Deep down in our hearts we have that longing. A longing to be with God, a longing to accept Jesus as our savior, a longing for his truth, a longing for his Church. My prayer for all of us is that we take some time this week to focus on that longing. Focus on the gifts God has given us, try to imagine the depth of God’s love for us, a longing so great that he would sacrifice his only son, so we can be with him. Close your eyes and just know that you are loved, feel the radiance of God’s love on your faces like a warm summer sun, rest in knowing that regardless of what you do or have done, God’s love for you remains unchanged and greater than you can possibly imagine. A love that is always there, waiting for you with open arms, a neatly wrapped gift just waiting to be accepted. If you never have, I pray that this week, today, this very second, you would accept it, truly accept Jesus as your lord and savior, accept God’s grace and rest in his love and peace.

John Mihalko