God believes in us

When we come to Mass, the liturgy tries to dispose us to speak humbly to God. To prepare ourselves to celebrate these sacred mysteries we are made to come face to face with our shortcomings. Like the tax collector who, even as he strayed from the accepted standards of Jewish piety was haunted by his conscience and wanted to repent, we are saying to God, “be merciful to me, a sinner.” We would like to be better but there seems to be a law of gravity that keeps pulling us down.


But we don’t celebrate the whole Mass beating our breast. Our sins, many as they are, can never exhaust God’s mercy and God is eager to forgive us at the first sign of repentance. The Church is the only institution in the world where, being a member is based on unworthiness. “If the church accepted only saints it would be like a hospital that accepted only healthy people. It would be easier to run but that’s not what we are here for.” (Rabbi Kushner, ‘To Life!’ p. 264)


That is the beautiful thing about Jesus’ message of salvation. God has judged the human race as worth saving, so we go on with the Mass, giving glory to God in the highest, trying to make the Eucharist an act of praise, petition and thanksgiving to God. Jesus chose Matthew, a tax collector as one of the twelve apostles. He chose a Pharisee, Paul, as apostle to the entire gentile world. Jesus knew there was more potential for good in Matthew and Paul than their misguided past life indicated, if they would allow God’s grace to harness and redirect their talents and zeal in order to spread his kingdom on earth. That’s what he saw in the tax collector but did not see in the temple Pharisee. If we see any good in ourselves, and we should, we give all the credit to God’s grace and favour. When we come across people whose lives are worthy of blame we should pray for them realizing that “there but for the grace of God go I.” Blessed Sunday, I love you all.

Fr. Wojtek Kuzma

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