A Testament Ever New: Weekly Message for 2-6-18

Dear Friends in Christ,

It used to be tempting to view some of the New Testament texts as chronicles of Christian battles from a long-gone pagan past.

In the last 10 years or so those scriptural texts have taken on a fresh relevance. Things that were once unthinkable are disturbingly common and increasingly accepted.

Be it phone porn, transgenderism, terrorism or toxic politics – all these make the first century seem tame by comparison.
How do we deal with such a world?

Here again, Scripture rings truer than ever. Notice how Moses exhorts the Israelites toward faithfulness as they prepare to enter the promised land: “For this command which I am giving you today is not too wondrous or remote for you. It is not in the heavens, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to the heavens to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may do it?’ … No, it is something very near to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to do I” (Deuteronomy 30:11-12, 14).

That’s a solution in a nutshell. Our Lord has given us Commandments to guide us. If we live by his commands, if we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit, the Almighty will transform us, and through us the world.

That notion isn’t simplistic. Rather, it recognizes the power of grace. Individual lives and whole societies can rise out of the ashes if we give Our Lord first place.

There is no better time to take a step in that direction than Lent. Now is the time to see what Jesus is asking of us. More prayer? More almsgiving? More patience and charity?

If we give him what he wants, we can start to let the Holy Spirit change the
world through us.

Let this be a Lent that changes you.

With my prayers,
Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Ask a Priest contributor

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