“REMAIN IN MY LOVE.”
For years I worked out at a gym to keep in shape. There were some parishioners I got to know. We were at the age when we needed surgery on our joints. A couple of these guys said they didn’t need to continue their therapy. They could recover on their own. I remember one fellow who couldn’t raise his arm past his head after shoulder surgery. I thought, ‘Why would anyone think they know better than someone trained in that field. One thing is sure, I will not push myself as far as a therapist, and I could easily injure myself.
Jesus knew that anyone who followed Him would need to persevere to remain faithful to Him. So He told His disciples, “Remain in My love, just as I remain in My Father’s love.” Jesus knew He was going to send His disciple out into the world. It wasn’t going to be easy when their faith in Him was challenged. So he didn’t say, “Fight to the end.” Instead, he said, “Remain in My love.” It’s all about relationships.
We don’t have a Roman army knocking down our doors and throwing us into prison and worse because of our faith. The “world” is much more cunning. It teases us with ideas that we don’t need to remain faithful to Jesus in Holy Communion. We can do without Him.
We can forgive ourselves or ask God to forgive us. We don’t have to remain faithful to His mercy in the Confessional. Or we join a non-Catholic Church because we get more out of it. It’s all about us. The fall of Adam and Eve all over again.
These ideas slip into our minds, and we fall for them. Yet, we trust them more than 2000 years of people like us who have remained faithful to Jesus in the Catholic Church.
Remember this, Jesus will never abandon us any more than His Father abandoned Him, whatever we do. Yes, He suffered, but He rose. Jesus will always remain and be there for us. We know this because His Church will always be there for us. He told St. Peter, “On this Rock (Peter’s faith) I will build my Chruch, and the gates of hell will never prevail against it. So Jesus told us to build our house on Rock. Sand gives way too easy.
Anything else we put our trust in hasn’t got that durability. It will fail us in the end. It’s like saying, “I can do this therapy on my own.”
Take courage, my friend, and do what you must.
IGNITE THE FIRE!
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC