Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The gospel today puts before us our history, who am I and how have I lived the life God gave me? Concretely, the Lord is asking, “Do you also want to go away?” Is this our desire especially when things go badly for us? How beautiful it would be to respond as Peter does: “Lord, to whom shall we go, you have words of eternal life.” This is the response of a Christian, one who has the spirit of Christ, the odor of Christ. St. Pope John Paul II would often say when he met with groups that he could see from the clarity of their eyes that they have experienced God. They have Christ within.
A Christian ought to be able to say that all that happened in my life is beautiful. Even the bad events, or the sins of others that seriously affected us, have led us to God. Even the horrible actions of our past, if we see them with faith, through Christ, have given us eternal life. Ask for this change of heart, because most of the time we don’t see our lives in this way. We think they should be very different. And we cannot, at times, let go of our past sins or the sins or mistakes of our parents and family.
Holy, holy, holy are you, Lord. This holiness of God, that we sing in Mass, lives in us and can change us little by little, and often it is hard to see. We are saying, Lord, you are holy, everything in my life you did well. Can a parent say this when they lose a child at a young age? Can we say this in the midst of financial, or health difficulties, or when the kids are making a big mess with drugs or something worse? A Christian should be able to see that all the sufferings of life are ‘words’ of eternal life! They are not a punishment for leaving the Church.
The Word of God proclaimed at every Eucharist hopefully has been lived and experienced by some of the people present. The injustices they suffered now have a meaning. Through them many have come to know the Lord and his mercy and peace.
We don’t know the hour of our death nor the hour of our conversion, which is when we encounter God and see his profound love for us. In front of fear or lust or rage, suddenly we have a different reaction; we react like Christ. We are able to forgive or when we fall to confess right away. This is what gives us eternal life. God doesn’t judge us and always forgives us. This is the only way to see that my life is glorious and so are my sufferings. It is this spirit of Christ that will make you and me a Christian. It is a total gift that should not make me proud but humble to be so lucky to receive it. Let us ask for this gift, this grace constantly in our lives.