If we want to resemble Christ Jesus we should follow his example found in the Gospels and in the letters in the New Testament. We are called to imitate the love of Christ. He welcomed the stranger, the alien. He plays no favorites. The poor, the forgotten by society, the rejected by society, Christ Jesus embraces. He never condemned anyone, but He always remained firm with those who turned away from doing the right thing. The Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Scribes who refused to show mercy. They became judge and jury instead of forgiving, having mercy, and loving each child of God. When those who strayed from the path of love, Christ Jesus compared us to lambs that got lost. He gently placed the lamb on top of His shoulders and He brought them back to the fold. I am not sure why people reject Christ Jesus today as they did 2000 years ago. He showed nothing but kindness toward others, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and love toward others. He pointed us in the direction of hope. He conquered death and showed us that our soul is eternal. Every society, to remain healthy, have laws to keep us on the path of peace and happiness but God has always given His children chance after chance to get it right and opportunity after opportunity to love Him back. This is the meaning of the Lenten Season. God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit opens His arms for us to come home. Like the story of the Prodigal Son, we too have the opportunity to come home into the arms of love. Remember that song by Peaches and Herb called Reunited? I was reminded of this song this Lenten Season. That this is an opportune time to be reunited with our loving God. I honestly don’t believe God condemns anyone. We condemn ourselves. God does not want any of His children to be separated from Him. Why would He since He created us. He created the Earth to share His beauty with us and to guide us to Himself.
Some people ask, if there really is a God, why would there be so much suffering and brokenness in the world. Yet, even Christ Jesus suffered at the hands of men who misunderstood who He even was. They were looking for a political hero, or even a military hero that was going to destroy the Roman occupation and end their brutality toward the Jews. But Jesus came preaching, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing” “My Kingdom is not of this world” for those who are weary and overburdened Christ calls us and promises peace and comfort. If only we open our lives to him and our hearts to him. He’s not here to condemn us, like the Pharisees and Sadducees want you to believe. He is not here to condemn but to heal and love. Baptism renews us into a life of grace. Grace is the fuel that protects and heals. When we receive these gifts we become examples of Christ in our daily lives. It is not just for the future but for the here and now. We are promised eternity in Heaven to begin on Earth through unity. Christ Jesus died for all people, not just for some. Meditate upon the Gospels. When Christ found the lost sheep He did not chastise the sheep, hurt the sheep, make the sheep feel terrible nor condemn the sheep. Therefore, we should not chastise each other. We should not look on others as if they are lost or beyond hope just as Christ does not treat us like that. So let us imitate Christ this Lenten Season. “Love one another as Christ has loved you.”
Love and Prayer,
Your brother in Christ,
Hermits of the Holy Cross