Are we living a minimalistic Christian life?
Fr. Steve shares with us his profile according to the APEST and Clifton Strengths Finders schemes. These confirm his prophetic gift and role in his ministry. He offers this as a prelude to this homily in which he prophetically challenges us as to whether we are bearing fruit in our lives for the kingdom of God.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’
St. Paul, in the second reading says this:
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea, and all of them were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. All ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank from a spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was the Christ. Yet God was not pleased with most of them, for they were struck down in the desert. (1 COR 10:1-6)
Are we settling for minimalism? The presumption in many Catholics is that everyone is going to heaven and only really, really bad people go to hell. We hope everyone will get there, but it can't be our expectation, if we believe the bible.
The Lord is kind and merciful - but only if we ask for his mercy!
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’ (Mt 7:21-23)
What fruit can we point to in our lives to show that we are living the gospel? Does the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist make a difference in our lives or not? We need to abide in Jesus. If we do, then we can ask anything of him and he will do it - these are his words. The only proof that you are a disciple is whether we bear fruit or not. In today's Gospel we read what the gardener says to the winegrower:
'Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.'
Some of us may only have one year of life left, some more, some less. What will we do with the time?
God has gifted each one of us uniquely; let us use our gifts for the building up of Christ's kingdom. We were made to bear fruit and we will be happiest if we do.
In his post-communion comments, Fr. Steve reiterates his call to us to make the most of the time we have by using our gifts for the building of his kingdom and to take seriously what the Lord is calling us to. We are being called to be a counterculture to the world and we are on the cusp of something significant that the Lord is doing.