Sunday, April 28, 2013

Looking Ahead

 By Father Perry D. Leiker

What good is anything until it is tested and proven? We might think it is good. We might believe it will be reliable. We might hope that it is going to come through for us. But until it is challenged and put to the test we cannot really say that we know its worth. When it is tried and tested, then we will know its proven value.

The word today shows several signs of understanding this truth. "It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God," we read in today's scriptures. Hardships prove our faith. Many disciples have been willing to suffer and die for their faith. When they were tortured and put to death, before they died, they realized that they had already become kingdom people.

When John talks about his vision of a new earth, he too, recognizes that things must come to an end: "The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more." There is no doubt that, in things coming to an end, much suffering and struggle is often realized.

Jesus himself tells his disciples: "My children, I will be with you only a little while longer." This is the ultimate pain: to lose someone because they depart from our lives. These challenges so different and yet, in some ways, so much the same all bring hardship and struggle. They also challenge us to dig down deep into our soul and test or prove how much trust we really have. This is where we discover the kingdom alive in us.

God dwells in these places in a special way. Here is where God leads, graces, fills, strengthens, teaches and loves kingdom alive.

Father Perry D. Leiker is St. Bernard parish administrator. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email pleiker@stbernard-church.com.

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