Friday, August 7, 2009

Is God In Your Reflection??

Is God in Your Reflection
A reflection for Sunday August 9th 2009
By Rev. Bob Johnnene OFD
Mission Sts. Sergius & Bacchus/ Franciscans of Divine Mercy
Reformed Catholic Church International of New England

When you look in the mirror what do you see looking back at you? Is the person you see reflecting God within them? Is the reflection cast back at you sharp and clear? Are there streaks or dirty spots on the reflection? Do you see, in your reflection, the infinite and everlasting mercy and love of God reflected back at you? Every Sabbath in every Church and Synagogue, the priest, Reverend, or Rabbi preaches on scripture readings. This preaching is called a homily, a Sermon or a Teaching. I call mine reflections because it, like those of the pastors, priests or Rabies’, they are meant for you to think about during the following week and reflect on how well you are doing in following God’s intent.This week I am asking you to imagine that you are looking at your reflection in a mirror and trying to discern how well you, in your daily life, are reflecting God’s teachings to those who you encounter.Perhaps, in your reflection you cannot discern the inner God within you because you are not totally open to accepting yourself as a infinitely loving God‘s child because other have told you that you are not welcome in God‘s house for one reason or another. Maybe it is because you spend too much time thinking about yourself and your desires instead of finding out how you can reach out and help others less fortunate than you.One thing that can cause distortions and streaks in your reflection is a distance you put between you and Almighty God. You believe in God and turn to Him when you are in need, but you do not take time every day to communicate with him as you would with your best friend and thank Him for all he has given you.Sometimes, just possibly, when you look in the mirror you do not recognize the person staring back at you. You need to ask why you not recognize that person.There is of course those times when you can see another figure behind you who seems to be calling to you. That reflection can either be a dark and foreboding presence that should frighten you because it is trying to entice you to do go against God’s teachings and as they used to say in Star Wars “Have you go to the Dark side”. The image you see reflected back at you might be a beautiful luminescent image that seems to glow from within which is the reflection of God and the Holy Spirit alive within you. Take a good look at yourself in that mirror, do you reflect the infinite love and mercy of Jesus Christ to yourself and to all you encounter on your life journey? Do you live your live in a way that would prompt God to praise you as “My good and faithful servant”? If so, your image is crystal clear and exactly what you want to envision when you look in your mirror. What you see in that mirror is how others see you. If you live your life striving always to be kind, generous, thoughtful, forgiving, and not discriminatory of any person, even those you disagree with, you are well on the way to seeing God in your reflection and others will see that in you.If, however, you discriminate because someone is divorced, not of the same nationality, race or religious denomination as you, or because God created a person with a same sex orientation, then your reflection is going to be full of blotches, stains and streaks and your image in the mirror needs to be cleaned up. Jesus Christ never rejected anyone who came to him and neither does God. Christ called and welcomed all even those who were sinners so that he could forgive them and encourage them to “Go and Sin No More”.Christ sat at table with all political and religious persons, rejecting no one, teaching them how to attain salvation. Christ endured suffering and even death on the cross in order to free us from the burden of sin and open the gates of heaven to all. His example showed us how to live. He told us it would not be easy and that we might be ridiculed and rejected and even have to suffer in order to be truthful and live according to God’s will.Christ and His Almighty Father have even given us a source of strength in the gifts bestowed upon us by the Holy Spirit; Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord. The secret here is, we have to seek them out and we have to ask for them. Christ told us “Love one another as I have loved you”. Christ loved us so much he was willing to die so that our sins would be forgiven and we could attain heaven at the end of our “Proving Time” here on earth. Like Gold that is purified in fire, we also must endure times of testing to become worthy of eternal life with God and the heavenly elect.May your reflection have few flaws and may God grant you the fortitude to make the changes necessary for you to see God clearly in your reflection. AMEN

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