It has been 23 years since the U.S. shuttle “Challenger” exploded 72 seconds after lift off, killing all seven astronauts aboard, including school teacher Christa McAuliffe. Also, last night, President Obama gave his fist State of the Union Address. I speculate that in another 23 years we will still remember one these historic moments, and not the other!
This reflection is about sin’s effect on our future. The humorous quote is something a friend recently sent to me, and helped placed our perceptions of others in a new light.
Quote or Joke of the Day:
BEST POEM IN THE WORLD
I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven’s door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.
But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp–
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics and the trash.
There stood the kid from seventh grade
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.
Roger, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.
I nudged Jesus, ‘What’s the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must’ve made a mistake.
‘And why is everyone so quiet,
So somber – give me a clue.’
‘Hush, child,’ He said, ‘they’re all in shock.
No one thought they’d be seeing you.’
Remember…Just going to church doesn’t make you a
Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.
Every saint has a PAST…
Every sinner has a FUTURE!
You were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you once lived following the age of this world, … (Eph 2: 1-2)
In these verses, Paul was urging the people of Ephesus (In Asia Minor – modern day Turkey) to remember their grim past, when they were dead through their sins; and what they are now, clothed in Christ, both Jew and Gentile reconciled with God. They are now a new people of one body: the household of God. These new people are now the temple and dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.
The recipients of Paul’s letter have experienced, in their redemption from transgressions, the effect of Christ’s power over the devil, who rules not from the “netherworld,” but from between God in heaven and human beings on earth. Both Jew and Gentile have experienced, through and by Christ, a gift of redemption and salvation that marked them for a future heavenly life in paradise.
The term, “age of this world,” is synonymous with the rulers of earth, but also reflects the Jewish idea of “two ages,” this present evil age and “the age to come”. Evil is still very prevalent today. People are still falling victim to the devil lurking in the recesses of our thoughts and emotions. Addiction, apathy, immoral sex, abortion, euthanasia, and cheating or just a few of the effects of evil in our society. The good thing is that anyone can thwart these sins of death, and live forever with Christ in a paradise no one on this earth can even imagine in our wildest dreams. All we need is to follow Christ, live in Him and Him in us, ask for help from Him, and ask for forgiveness from Him and others we sin against. Not easy: but not impossible.
“Lord, tell the devil to go ‘somewhere else.’ Be with us, especially when tempted by the prince of darkness. Please protect my family and friends from these evils as well. Amen”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Prologue to Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule, Chapter 1:
… Oh, how glorious it is to have a great and Holy Father in heaven! Oh, how glorious it is to have such a beautiful and admirable Spouse, the Holy Paraclete.
Oh, how glorious it is to have such a Brother and such a Son, loved, beloved, humble, peaceful, sweet, lovable, and desirable above all: Our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave up his life for his sheep (cf. Jn 10:15) and prayed to the Father saying: …