Tuesday, July 13, 2010

God has promised forgiveness, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination to ask for it

Go to your confessor; open your heart to him; display to him all the recesses of your soul; take the advice that he will give you with the utmost humility and simplicity. For God, Who has an infinite love for obedience, frequently renders profitable the counsels we take from others, but especially from those who are the guides of our souls. (St. Francis de Sales)

Gospel text (Mt 11:20-24): Jesus began to denounce the cities in which He had performed most of his miracles, because the people there did not change their ways, «Alas for you Chorazin and Bethsaida! If the miracles worked in you had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, the people there would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I assure you, for Tyre and Sidon it will be more bearable on the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to heaven? You will be thrown down to the place of the dead! For if the miracles which were performed in you had taken place in Sodom, it would still be there today! But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you».

Upon reading today’s gospel I thought, the Lord also went through our towns, our neighborhood our homes, and... did we pay any attention to him?, did I take notice of him?

And when Jesus reproaches cities like Chorazin, Bethsaida, and even his chosen city, Capernaum, for failing to believe and repent even in the face of his miracles ("mighty deeds"), he is speaking to all people like ourselves who are blessed by the presence and promises and works of Jesus, but nonetheless do not put our faith into practice, do not trust in God alone, but continue to fear and follow the false gods of power, security, force -- the City of Man, rather than the City of God.

When crossing the inhuman streets of our “dormitory towns”, I wonder: what can be done to help these people whom I feel totally unable to establish a dialogue with, whom I cannot share my thoughts with, whom it seems impossible to transmit God's love to? And then, I remember the motto St. Francis de Sales chose when he was appointed Bishop of Geneva in the midst of the protestant reformation «Where God planted us, we must yearn to bloom». I then see that I should not lose Hope. I must reciprocate the goodness shown to me by God, and thus, what meager generosity I may place in the heart of whoever I am greeting, or the interested and attentive glance towards whoever is asking me some information, or just my smile of thanks addressed to whoever yields to let me through, will flourish in the future. As a result, Faith will not be lost in our present environment.

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