This week we hear proclaimed in Scripture that even though there is evil and wickedness around us, even though we are weak and at times succumb to it, if we know Jesus we will have eternal life. In Matthew we hear from Jesus, “Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.” How good to know that Jesus will stand before his Father for us! It is important, however, to hear the second part of that teaching, “But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.” It is clear, the choice is ours.
The gift of free will challenges each and every person daily as they strive to live according to the plan God envisioned for his people. God’s love provides all we need in this world as well as the promise of eternal life with Him. But God does not coerce us or hold us captive, he allows us to choose how we want to live and He is there for us in the promise of the Holy Spirit if we choose to live according to
His Word. God wants the best for us but like a loving parent, he gifts us with freedom to choose the direction of our lives, he loves us through the mistakes we make and is forever there for our return with open arms, incredible mercy and unconditional love.
Living a Christian life is our challenge; the reward of doing so is our ultimate joy. We were created in the image and likeness of God and each of us holds great potential in sharing God’s love with others. But we have choices to make;
Þ How will we live in union with others; within our family, with neighbors, and with all humanity?
Þ How will we deal with the evil that exists in this world?
Þ Will we stand for justice and show concern for all of God’s people?
Þ How will we share the Good News of Jesus?
Þ How will we serve one another, share our resources, care for creation?
Þ What effort will we give to growing closer to God?
All of these questions and so many more call us to use that God-given gift of free will in a way that will uphold love and denounce evil. Be assured we are called to choose multiple times each day and we must remain vigilant. Will the decisions we make acknowledge Jesus Christ in our lives? Will others see Christ in us? This is important, for if so,
Jesus will stand before his Father and acknowledge us and our efforts. Who better to stand with us before our Creator and attest to our good efforts?!
Let us pray for the strength to make right decisions and to honor the gift of free will in a way that will ensure the love of Jesus Christ, not only for ourselves, but for all of God’s people.
With hope and gratitude,
October 17, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC