the death of the party
"For years now I have slaved for you. I never disobeyed one of your orders, yet you never gave me so much as a kid goat." —Luke 15:29
Have you been praying for years but haven't received as much as a kid goat? Do you feel like a slave since for you Mass is primarily a Sunday obligation? Do you find yourself judging other Christians? Are you turned off by those charismatics who are always praising the Lord?
If your answer to some of these questions is "Yes," then you may be the older brother in the parable usually called, "The Parable of the Prodigal Son." Many Christians, like the older brother, compare themselves with other Christians. We are tempted to fall into religious sibling rivalry and jealousy. Unforgiveness breeds in this atmosphere, and where unforgiveness is, there can be no blessing, no joy, and no peace (Mt 5:24, Sir 28:3-4).
Unforgiveness breeds a burdensome, joyless, Sunday-obligation aberration of Christianity. Of course, it's not bad to do things out of a sense of duty, but Christianity is much more. Christianity is an exciting, painful, fulfilling way of living based on a deep, total relationship with the forgiving Father, the Bridegroom Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Our Father speaks to us at this moment: "You are with Me always, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice!" (Lk 15:31-32)
Prayer: Father, show me that unforgiveness is the cause of a sad, boring life.
Promise: You "will again have compassion on us, treading underfoot our guilt. You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins." —Mi 7:19
Praise: St. Cyril continued to proclaim the Truth though forced into exile three times.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Developing a Deep, Personal Relationship with Jesus on audio AV 52-1 or video V-52.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 16, 2005
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