Living the Gospel – February 17, 2019

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In a few days, I will be having one of those milestone birthdays that makes a person step back and review their life – what has been accomplished, and what remains to be done. I don’t have much of a bucket list, so my focus has been more on what I have accomplished. Today’s gospel, however, sends my thoughts in a new direction. What have I accomplished towards becoming the person God has intended me to be?

Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours.

Have I allowed getting and keeping money to be a priority in my life? Was my vocational path selected by listening to God or by listening to society tell me how I could make the most money?

Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied.

I’ve hungered for God’s word. Have I partaken in the opportunities He’s provided so that I can be filled?

Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh.

Like most folks, I’ve had my share of sorrow. Living in the past doesn’t allow me to get beyond that. Have I lived – really lived – in the present moment and sought the joy every day?

Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man.

As a Christian, I should be living a life distinguishable from the culture that surrounds me. God does not ask us to “blend in.” He asks us to set ourselves apart from the world. Have I been living my life in a manner that others can tell I’m a Christian? It’s got to be more than how I act on Sunday mornings; it has to be how I act every day, even during the week. Have I been too worried about standing out and making myself a target for ridicule?

Being a Christian in this modern age is not always an easy task. I know on more than one occasion I have failed to meet the standards Christ laid out. But I also know that he loves me still and forgives me my failings, even when I keep repeating the same mistakes. I just need to take the time to see my weaknesses and act to correct my behavior. God gave me free will. He’s made clear what my choices are and what the consequences of my decisions will be. Now it’s up to me to take this time out to have a “check-up” and see to it that my life is on track to be the person God wants me to be.

Linda Crowley