4th Sunday after Easter 29.4.18 Recognition
The Holy Spirit will make all things clear, Our Lord promises, especially on matters of right and wrong.
There are moments in life when we have an unpleasant realization that something we have done in the past was in fact wrong, and more wrong than we realized at the time.
So we have a kind of delayed contrition. At such points we feel the need to say sorry to someone, to God certainly, if the action was sinful. In which case we have the reassuring sacrament of Penance, whereby we can clear the decks of past sins, and resume life with a certain freshness.
These moments of realization could refer to just one particular action, or they could refer to the whole direction of one’s life.
Many people, for instance, spend most of their lives in denial of God, His existence, His importance, the fact that they will have to face Him in judgment one day.
What fear and shame will come upon these people when their death approaches, or has already happened?
Or, if they are fortunate, the realization will occur well before death and they will have a chance to correct their course.
One case of people making a major wrong turning was the action of the Jews in demanding the death of Our Lord.
He was their Saviour, their Messiah, and God as well; and they went and had Him crucified.
This is picking the wrong side of the argument if ever there was.
Peter rebukes them at Pentecost, and the people are ‘cut to the heart’. Fortunately there is mercy available to them, and many of them take that chance to get it right from then on.
We cannot smile at the folly of the Jews. We have done the same thing any time we have rejected Christ, going so far as to commit a mortal sin.
Mercy is available to us too; and we take advantage of any moment of shame about past behaviour to set the record straight, and live lives of holiness from now on.
We can do this, availing ourselves of the range of things the Church puts before us.
We are constantly re-setting the compass as we go through life.
God gives us chance after chance. Every single day could be seen as another chance to get back in union with Him, or increase it if already there.
We grasp His mercy right here and now.
Take the shock now; don’t wait till we are dying, or until there is some Fatima-like miracle, and we start crying out ‘Lord, Lord’ (Mt 7,21).
We take a grip on our lives, for life.
Many would have an idea they will straighten out one day. But it is an insult to God to delay repentance, and is risking a severe chastisement by way of warning.
Instead, come now and find out what He wants from you and for you. It will be a j oy.
It will be a relief to be ready, and it will bring much peace in this life as well.
We can also learn from the positive experiences, seeing God’s goodness all around. This will help also. Generally being aware of God is the key.
We just want to take the surprise element out of things, nasty surprises at least.
The Holy Spirit has come, as Our Lord said. He has shown the world how wrong it has been about rejecting Christ. He has told us individually that we need to clean up our desk, get all the loose ends in the proper place, and see our lives as coherent in response to this grand message.
We must not be depressed about the continual rejection of this message. The concerted response of a few will generate graces for the many. We will hold the line until the ‘many’ realize what they have done: crucified the Saviour, again and again.
But no more ‘agains’; from now on we live in union with Him.