The first reading is very sobering:
God sent prophets to warn them,
but "they despised his warnings,"
things got worse,
"until there was no remedy."
Do you ever feel that way
about our culture? I do.
Our culture is so me-centered,
that the truth, when it is demanding of us,
gets pushed aside because
"that makes me feel bad!"
That’s what they told the prophets:
"Don’t say that! That makes me feel bad!"
There are serious wounds in our society.
I think of the huge tragedy of divorce.
Every individual situation is different;
no judgment here:
many try to avoid it, and they can’t.
But look at the larger picture:
we know something is wrong.
Clearly, when adults fail
to keep their grownup issues
something is wrong.
No child should have to hear
one of his parents
running down the other.
No excuse for grownups to put their needs
ahead of the children
they brought into the world.
So when a grownup says,
"I need someone new"…
Sometimes what we face
is bigger than the individual;
there’s a social dimension to sin,
and we can feel powerless before it.
But we are not powerless;
as Christians we must be bold,
in the Holy Spirit,
in challenging each another,
and our society, to conversion.
Before I move on,
let me make two quick points.
First: reconciliation and healing
for troubled marriages is possible.
Don’t give up!
I listed some resources in the bulletin;
call me if I can help.
Second: there’s a false idea I need to correct.
Obviously the Church
doesn’t approve of divorce,
no one does!; but simply getting a divorce
does NOT put anyone outside the Church!
If there’s a new marriage?
That complicates things.
A court of law has no power
to dissolve a sacrament brought about
by the Holy Spirit.
So if there’s new marriage,
we can talk one-on-one.
But a civil divorce, by itself, does not mean
someone can no longer come to communion.
Anyone in that situation:
come to confession, be at peace.
The first reading said they came to a point
where "there was no remedy."
Thank God, you and I have a remedy:
Jesus Christ and His Cross!
When Jesus embraced his Cross,
He showed—and led the way to—
the transformation that can heal us.
It is called "dying to self."
It is a hard medicine to take;
it’s far easier to leave it on the shelf.
Nobody likes it; but nothing else works!
Our Lord just told us,
choosing Him, accepting his Cross,
following him in dying to self—
means we won’t "perish,"
but through Him we "have eternal life."
It’s a paradox, but we know its true:
We perish when we try to avoid the Cross!
Embracing the Cross
brings us Resurrection!
New life out of—
and more powerful than—
the fractured, wounded reality
we all know too well.
With or without Christ,
we’d still face the Cross!
With him, we need not face it alone;
With him, the Cross means, not death,
but through dying to self, brings Life!
Lent is our opportunity
to choose his Cross,
in a deeper way, everyday.
If your Lent hasn’t been so good?
There’s a remedy: Choose Him, today.