Sunday, April 2, 2017

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor 

Quote of the Week: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill.

Today, we celebrate the third Scrutiny with our catechumens – the elect.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus promises Martha –  and us – that whoever “lives and believes in me will never die.”

Obviously, he isn’t speaking about physical death, but rather about a death and life that is much more profound.

There are many people who are physically alive who have very little life within. Some of these people are rich and have abundant blessings in this life: good health, opportunity, prosperous jobs, hopeful futures, social standing, excellent education. Everything that we think of as a blessing is theirs.

Then there are some who are poor, in need, without prosperity in material things, who have little opportunity, yet they are filled with peace, love, hope, gratitude, joy, faith.

How can it be? What sense does this make? Why and how does this contradiction exist?

Jesus simply says: “Whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”

Jesus speaks of a life that exists deep within our spirit and soul; it cannot be transplanted into someone else. If we perform surgery, we can never find it inside the human body; it is not something that can be bought or sold. It is not material or a commodity, nor can we manufacture this priceless gift of life.

It is something we believe. It is something we discover. It is something that inspires and gives life, because it is in fact a life that is growing within us.

It is so profound and significant that it helped people survive the Holocaust, false imprisonment, a martyr’s death, prejudice, rejection, and being the object of hate and lies and rumors.

This life brings meaning to the days we exist on this planet. Without this life, ordinary living can become meaningless; without this life, people have been known to take their lives, which strangely means to reject their lives by suicide or a daily rejection of life through addiction, living lives of hate, and refusing to forgive.

It’s like love – hard to define, yet you clearly know when it is there and when it isn’t.

This life Jesus offers may be hard to define, but we clearly know when it is there and when it isn’t.

Jesus promises Martha –  and us – that whoever “lives and believes in me will never die.”

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112; email Follow Father Perry on Twitter: @MrDeano76.

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