Remember “My Brothers and Sisters in
Christ, Heaven Comes with a Price.”
by Fr. Daniel E. Doctor:
Starting with Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week, the beginning of Christ’s Paschal mystery – His death and Resurrection. This should be a day of great mystery and deep reflection as we contemplate the great things Christ did for us and our salvation.
Jesus humbly enters Jerusalem riding on a donkey. He knows that many of the same people who welcome Him with great joy will in a few days being crying our for His crucifixion and death – but He also knows that He is doing His Father’s will and nothing will impede His faithful fulfilling of it.
It was not easy for Jesus to enter the place of His death but He did it with courage and confidence – with His head held high – because He knows His Father will ultimately save Him from evil men.
He bravely moves forward facing whatever lies ahead and we are no different from Jesus in this respect – we don’t know for sure what lies ahead in this life for us; it maybe illness, or major health or family problems, financial difficulties, uncertainties of all kinds. But Jesus is an example to us on how to move ahead and to bravely face whatever comes – knowing and trusting the Father is with us too.
Taking the Easy Road
Sure it is difficult to be strong and courageous in a world that is telling us to take the easy road and indulge our disordered appetites, immoral passions and self centered feelings….Sure it is difficult to be a good example of Christian values; to stand and defend life, liberty and marriage and then to be made fun of – or completely ignored – or considered irrelevant, irrational, and unreasonable because of them . . . . Sure it is difficult to stand against the culture of death that surrounds us and to stand for life unconditionally like the Church asks of us . . . . Sure if is difficult to have a moral conscience in a world that has lost its ability to know right from wrong or the courage to stand firm in its own moral convictions.
Sure it would be much easier if the Church would stop preaching against the tide of evil that is overwhelming us and our culture and just give in and give up and embrace sin and vice.
These are all excellent arguments, why the Church should compromise with the world and its evil; why the Church should give up and give in, go with the tide. But, the fact remains that, when it does – when the Church or . . . you or I . . . as its members chooses the world over what is right, good, or true – Christ is sadly betrayed again!!! Take a deep look at our 2000 year history as a Church – the Christians of the first through the fifth century – could not refuse to worship the Roman Emperor as a god. If they did – they were punished with death and martyrdom and even if their life was spared by some miracle – they would be ruined financially. Since this time – it has been the case century after century – that Christians had to made a real choice between material success and loyalty to Jesus Christ. But chose Christ anyway!!!
Remember the words of Jesus and let them sink into your hearts and give you hope – “If they did it to me – they will do it to you also.”
What a great gift this is that Christ’s gives to us – to allow us to suffer like Him – to imitate Him – to be abused by the world like our Savior was. How excellent a thing to be treated like the thousands of saints and martyrs that have gone before us – our mothers and fathers, our brothers and sisters in the faith – whose blood and example are the seeds for the future, fruitful, lasting growth of the Church. How wonderful a thing it is to be a Catholic – always be proud of it and learn it, live it, love it – it’s your salvation and the greatest joy in this life.
Heaven Comes with a Price
If we get right down to the heart of the matter, wouldn’t we rather stand for something – to become something real – to be holy? than to fall for everything that lacks any real lasting value? Don’t we want to gain a crown of glory and have eternal life with God? Well, my brothers and sisters in Christ – heaven comes with a price. It cost Christ everything to save us . . . . the reading of the Passion of Christ today – should show us just how important our salvation is to Jesus Christ and exactly what He did to obtain it.
Now, it is our turn to show Christ by our actions, prayers, and example to others – that His passion and death- does mean something to us.