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Friday, March 14, 2014

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Ezekiel 18:21-28
Psalm 130:1-8
Matthew 5:20-26

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what is christianity?

"Is it My way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?" —Ezekiel 18:25

Some Christians assume that Christianity is like taking a course in school. There are several tests in this course, and they think their final grade is the average of all their tests. However, the Lord doesn't average our lives. If we are not faithful to the Lord till death, all our "good scores" count for nothing (see Ez 18:24). Many say: "The Lord's way is not fair" (Ez 18:25), but that's because they haven't accepted Christianity as a living relationship with Christ.

Some people even think that God grades on a curve, that if they're less sinful than the average person, that will be acceptable to God. Yet Jesus also ruined that theory when He taught: "I tell you, unless your holiness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees you shall not enter the kingdom of God" (Mt 5:20). Because the Pharisees were considered to be very holy people, Jesus was saying that we will not enter God's kingdom unless our holiness surpasses those far above average. In effect, the Lord is calling us to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect (Mt 5:48).

Thus, we can never "make the grade" in Christianity. Living for Christ is humanly impossible and can only be lived through Him, with Him, and in Him. So let's quit playing games with God. He gave His life for us; let's give our lives totally to Him.

Prayer:  Father, "I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I live now is not my own; Christ is living in me. I still live my human life, but it is a life of faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Gal 2:19-20). This Lent, may I accept the grace to be faithful forever.

Promise:  "If you bring your gift to the altar and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift at the altar, go first to be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift." —Mt 5:23-24

Praise:  Al's Catholic wife died suddenly. Al realized his mortality and became a Catholic. He now receives Jesus daily at Mass.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 8, 2013

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