We Gather in Faith

Teaching and commentary from our pastor, Bishop Francis Christian.


My first grade teacher, Sr. Nathaniel, taught us that if

someone made a deathbed confession or “perfect” act of

contrition, that person would go to heaven. That didn’t

seem fair but it was attractive. I could do whatever I want

in life, go to confession right before I die or pray the Act

of Contrition, and still go to heaven. Of course I didn’t

consider that we never know when we’ll die and more

importantly that the point of life in faith is to live Jesus,

seek the Lord, and live God’s ways throughout our lives.

Those workers, who began work in the morning,

laboring under the hot sun all day, felt entitled to more

money than those who came at day’s end. When that did

not happen, they felt cheated. Maybe they did envy the

owner’s generosity. They missed the point. The owner

promised the usual daily wage to all, whenever they

started working. Our gracious and merciful God promises

eternal life to all who enter into relationship with God,

whenever we do so and even after we fall. This is pure

gift. We are not entitled to it. We can be blinded by

God’s generosity to those we think undeserving. Envy

blinds us to God’s nearness at all times and keeps us from

gratitude for such generous mercy.

God’s justice looks more like human mercy. We can

cry, “Unfair!” In the end, I’m glad that God’s ways are

not my ways. Would that mine were more like God’s.

The message is to conduct ourselves in a way worthy of

the gospel we have received no matter when we receive it

or how often we fall. Seek the Lord and our union with

Christ will be clear.

Taken from “Living the Word”, by Laurie Brink, O.P. &

Paul A. Colloton, O.S.F.S.