Wednesday, November 6, 2013

GOD: Dead? Or Alive?

http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,835309,00.html
April 8, 1966


From the Holy Gospel According to Saint Luke  [20:27-38]
Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us, If someone's brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless.   Then the second and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless.  Finally the woman also died. Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her."
Jesus said to them, "The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise. That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called out 'Lord,' the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."

"God is not God of the dead, but of the living..." Our Lord Jesus said.   
For some people, unfortunately, God is dead. 

Is your God "dead" or "alive"?

Do you pray to a dead God?
To a lucky charm you rub with prayers when things go bad?  

Or are your prayers directed to  the Living God? 
To God who speaks to your heart and gives you direction, and purpose to every choice and challenge in your life?

Do you hear the ranting of a dead God? 
Who constantly condemns,  who seeks only the destruction of the wicked;  who demands, threatens and punishes human beings into submission and obedience?  

Or do you hear the Voice of  the Living God?
Who welcomes you and forgives you;  Who constantly raises you up when you fall;  Whose compassion and desire for reconciliation with His children knows no limits and has no conditions attached?

Do you believe in a dead God?  
Who requires that you have your "spiritual ticket punched" in church on Sunday mornings?  Who never ventures out of His "house", your Parish Church?  Who never ventures out of the compartment of your life where you have enshrined (that is, chained) Him?  
  
Or do you believe in the Living God?
Who is constantly present in your life,  with you at the family dinner table or at the office conference table?  

Do you believe in the Living God?  
Who is the object and center of your life, and not just an accessory?

Our God is not a God of death -- not a God of remoteness, or passivity, or separation.  
Our God is the God of life, of joy, hope, and re-creation.

Very often, we try to make God fit our image of Him.  And by forcing God to fit our yardstick of what is right and wrong --  by forcing God to fit our expectations of who is worthy of blessing and who is worthy of damnation --  we kill, within our souls, the image of the One, True God.

The hypothetical situation the Sadducees concocted to trap the Lord Jesus  reflects a very shallow image of God and His love for human beings.  The Sadducees' behavior mirrors to our tendency to see God as the end of life rather than the beginning of life.  

The Sadducees demonstrate how we try to squeeze and pry God into our image  rather than see ourselves as being made in God's image.   The Sadducees' behavior illustrates how we try to confine God to our rules and expectations,  to our legalistic, "tit-for-tat" reasoning of how we say things should be.

And so, for some people, God is dead.  Forcing God to fit our yardstick and our expectations,  kills, within our souls, the true image of the One, Life-giving  God.  

This can only happen if we allow our spiritual lives to die of neglect and hunger.  

Our spiritual life is the "yes" we give to God's Word made known to us in Jesus Christ; 
our spiritual life is a journey toward God;  it is a process of deepening our relationships 
with GOD and with one another, as the Lord Jesus taught us.

If we let our spiritual lives just hobble along, crippled, avoiding every opportunity God offers us to know Him better, avoiding every opportunity to feel His love for us, avoiding every opportunity to conquer our sinful habits, to do works of charity, to do penance to fast, to pray, and to meet Him in His Sacred Scriptures -- then, God will be dead to us.  

When we allow our spiritual life to wither and deteriorate, then our image of the living God will fade away -- because our spiritually deprived imaginations will eclipse the image of the living God with a distorted image of a dead, lifeless God.

Thanks be to God for His Son, our Lord Jesus.  Our Lord Jesus opens up our narrow vision of God beyond the limits of our imagination -- to allow us to see the possibilities for forgiveness, generosity, and humility that are the life and the love that the Living God has for us!

Our response to the Lord Jesus' call to be His disciples  begins with opening our minds and our spirits  to becoming what God intends us to become: God's very cherished children.  

To become "the children of God,”  “the ones who will rise," we must renew our spiritual lives through immersing ourselves in the Gospel's vision of love of God and of neighbor, 
and by prayer and selfless service, and by the Sacraments of Eucharist and of Reconciliation.

"God is not God of the dead, but of the living..." Our Lord Jesus said.  

So, is your God "dead" or "alive"?

May what Saint Paul prayed for, for all of us who follow Jesus Christ, be granted to us, God’s children:
"May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ." 
[2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5]

http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,941816,00.html
December 26, 1969 - Cover Credit: PETER GEE


Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!
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