Fr. Jerry's Letter to the Editor

June 4, 2018

Letter to the Editor

Dear Mr. Nathan Grimm,

                                     Always looking for reasons to keep hope alive

     This is about how much we need hope and where we can find it. When we discover the things that give us hope, only then can we get to work bringing hope to others.

     We are “God’s handiwork”. That is what the Bible calls us. By Baptism we become adopted “children of God”. Such high dignities require us to hold our heads up high. That we are “wretched sinners” is hardly true; I don’t think it is ever true. We ask God to forgive our sins - he forgives them. Nothing wretched about it. Old sins, once forgiven, are like waters washed away over the dam.

    Our dignity is restored every time we pray, asking God to forgive us. With great mercy God forgives us out of love for us. As children of a loving and incredibly merciful Father, we can hold our heads up high. We are sinners, yes; but we belong to a God of boundless mercy.

    God wants us to be happy joyful people, “God’s People”, not shameful wretched crybabies.      

    We read in Ephesians: “For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them,” (2:10).

     Do we know what it means to be God’s handiwork? It means that God has created us for a specific reason: to fulfill God’s purposes, yes, to be holy people, to be co-workers together with God on issues

of justice and peace, to achieve something wonderful in life, and to be happy with God forever.

     We must never forget that God has created us to do good works, that he laid our assignments out like stepping stones for each one of us to follow. Before we were even born (Wow!) our whole life’s journey was spread like a road map. God himself has planned much of our future for us. All we have to do is to follow where God wants us to go, accomplish the good works that God wants us to complete.

     When the time comes, we will live with God at his workshop in Paradise. Heaven is not a place of eternal rest or a long sleep-in. More likely, heaven is a place of open doors, creativity and many surprises; where we will stand ready and willing with God in the task of transforming all things. Where we will be much loved, holier than we know, lucky children of God. Why? Because who loves us better than God? Nobody.

     Another text which gives us hope is Matthew’s “Sermon on the Mount” (5:3-12). This famous passage spells out more specifically what Jesus Christ wants us to be. Through the centuries many courageous women and men have answered his call:

         Blessed are the poor in spirit like the monk Thomas Merton;

         Blessed are the peacemakers like Rev. Martin Luther King;

         Blessed are the merciful like the activist Dorothy Day;

         Blessed are the clean of heart like Abraham Lincoln.

    Our Christian faith was given to us as a gift by the compassionate triune Majesty of God. Let us see what this means for us as we quote a small but powerful text from St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians.

 For Paul, and for his readers like you and me, these words are comfort and joy to the heart: "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me,” (Gal. 2:20).

     Here is what I think Paul means to tell us. Like Paul, we are living our lives in the flesh with faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave himself for us. One day in the future, according to the testimony of apostle Paul, Christ will enter into a new relationship with us. Now let me explain.                                                                                                                                                                                                

     At our death, if we are permitted to transition into the happy life of God’s beautiful kingdom, it will be Christ himself who fosters an intimate union with us. He will delight and overwhelm us with his lovingkindness. He will share his divinity with us. His gentle presence will seep deep into our beings and stay there. And with lives so entwined, it will no longer be we who live---but Christ who lives in us.

      In Christ we find our peace!      

Jerry Wickenhauser  Godfrey  467-0384