Father Tom's Message
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Expect a miracle in your life today! These were the words of a television evangelist as he began every program. These are nice words, aren’t they? Everyone would like to have a miracle. It would be great. Miracles can heal, they can give hope, and they can give life. It would be wonderful just to think and suddenly the miracle comes forth. It seems so easy. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
Miracles do happen, but perhaps not as easily or as readily as one would think. It would be nice to be able to call for a miracle and immediately it happens; however, God may have a different plan for us. To expect a miracle seems to be naïve in our thinking. Because of man’s sinful nature, we no longer have the ability to commune with God as Adam and Eve did before the Fall. Our sinfulness gets in the way of our ability to understand God’s plan for us. As a result, often we lose our place in the world and forget the Commandments of God. Life then becomes a struggle for us. Often we lose hope and begin to despair. We have to find our way again. We need to find God in our lives.
Many people of different Christian expressions preach that it is easy to live a Christian life. In order to be saved all one has to do is to acknowledge and commit themselves to Christ. This type of thought brings forth the belief, “once saved always saved.” This philosophy is not scriptural and only gives the impression that it really doesn’t matter what we do in our life in order to be saved. All we need to do is to believe in Jesus. However, our Lord says, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are a few who find it.” (Matthew 13-14)
Jesus returning to the earth was God’s plan for our redemption. He provides a way for us to find our way and once again commune with our Savior. Our first step is to commit our lives to Christ. But that is only the first step. I find it interesting that when someone is newly committed to Christ, God gives him a great amount of grace and power. He almost feels invincible. This can be shown from an example in the Scriptures. In the beginning of their ministry, Jesus sent out the 70 apostles into the world to preach the gospel. They all returned with joy saying that even demons were subject to them in our Lord’s name. Jesus then said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. (Luke 10:18) This is a glimpse of the joyous life as a Christian. We are giving so much love from God that our life is completely fulfilled.
After a while, a Christian will soon realize that the Power that he had soon begins to diminish. He should not lose hope however, because our Lord wants him to be strong in Christ. When we have the power and the grace at the beginning of our commitment, it is so that we would be encouraged. After we become more seasoned, our Lord slowly backs off and reveals to us what it is like to stand alone, without God. This hopefully will reveal to us our need to depend on God. This will give us the courage to turn to him.
Being a Christian completes us and gives us the purpose we need in our life. Knowing that God is by our side gives us peace, happiness and fulfillment, yet it is not always easy. It is sometimes very difficult to discern what God’s Will is for us. And sometimes, it is even more difficult, if we understand what his Will is for us, and to actually fulfill what He wants us to do.
This is why a prayerful life is so important. When we are prayerful and we take time to read the Scriptures and holy books, and make every effort to try to live the life that God has called us to live, and, when we live the life that the Church prescribes, we will have a joyous life full of God’s presence and grace. We will then begin to see that God is in everything. He is present in our everyday lives and cares for and loves us totally. He is dedicated to us and wants us all to be saved, to have abundant life and eternal life.
When we are dedicated to Christ completely, we will begin to see God working in the world. In the beginning of my letter, I quoted the evangelist telling us to expect miracles. Miracles happen all the time. We can see them if we are looking for them. Miracles may not be huge events, but they may be small events that happen through our everyday actions and activities. When we recognize them, we are encouraged and strengthened in the faith. It is the “little miracles” that often times give us more hope and encouragement.
In this crazy world that we live in which is becoming more godless every day, let us take time to dedicate ourselves to Christ. That is, not follow the ways of the world, but the ways of our Lord. Let us allow Christ to guide every step in our lives. Allow our minds to become more Godlike and joyful. May God bless us all!
With love in Christ,