“ I don’t like to commit myself about heaven and hell- you see, I have friends in both places.” Mark Twain might really be convinced of this when he declared this, but he somehow missed the point. Whether we like it or not, but we have to make a choice, and we have to express our commitment to that choice.
God has prepared his kingdom for us, but we have to choose it, or we can make a bad choice of living in the kingdom of Satan.
Our Readings today offers us ways to make the right choice…which is to choose the kingdom of God…I would label this as 3 L’s.
First, Jeremiah: TO LISTEN to God…to turn back to God…to obey God. God speaks to us in many ways, through people around us. So we need to have a careful and discerning spirits to listen to his voice speaking to us.
Second, in our gospel today Jesus offers us TO LEARN from him.
He casts out the evil spirit, and the man was cured of his dumbness, and that’s a good thing. What we can learn from this? Jesus’ action created mixed reactions from the crowd. Some puts him to the test, while some attributed his work as work of the evil one. But that did not stop Jesus from doing the good and the right thing. So should we. In life, we want to do good things, but some people put us down…and we stop. And sometimes, we look down people as well if they would do good thing that shakes our security, our reputation, our popularity and the like. Like Jesus, let us not look down at anyone, unless we are helping him/her to get up. Let’s continue doing good things no matter what people say of us, just as the moon keeps on shining, despite of the dog howling at it from beneath.
Third is to LOVE like Jesus. How can we do this? Look at the cross. Jesus extended his arms fully, as if to embrace us all, that’s how much he loved us, and more HE died for us. TO love like Jesus then is to embrace the cross. We have to note that He was glorified not because of the miracles he’s done, but because of his cross. So no matter how great our works are, if we don’t take and embrace the cross of Jesus, then we lack in love.
As we go on with our observance of Lent, let us then examine ourselves…as I go on with the rest of my day, and week…am I committing myself to choose the kingdom of God? If I am doing the opposite…NOW is the time to change course.
It’s easy to go to hell because we just have to drift…
It’s hard to get to heaven, because we have to steer…and follow the way of the Cross.