Sunday, July 03, 2005

Love and Humility on a Small Scale

A priest began his homily with an allegory of a man at a podium. The man is standing in front of 200 people at a conference holding a 50 dollar bill and asks the crowd who wants the bill. After everyone raises his/her hand, he crumbles the bill up and asks again who still wants it. After seeing a sea of hands still raised in the air, he throws the crumpled bill to the floor, steps on it, and proceeds to grind it into the dirt. The speaker asks the question a final time, who still wants the bill? All 200 people keep their hands in the air. The point of the story is to show despite the damage, the bill maintains its original worth. And though we may be beat up in life, crumbled by our own inequities, stepped on by our failures and grinded into the dirt, to God, we hold the same worth as the day He made us. Sometimes as finite beings we lose sight of this. Too often we don't feel forgiven, and we don't trust in Christ's infinite mercy. How could God love such an ugly being as myself? A deep sinner I am, and too many nights has He seen the cold side of my shoulder. I am unworthy of his mercy and therefore do not merit it. True, you are unworthy, but mercy is not deserved, it is a grace given to those unbefitting of God's forgiveness.

But to reject God's mercy is a sin in itself; it isn't humility we exemplify, but rather it is pride we embody. These feelings lead a spirit to despair, as Judas has so sinfully done, resulting in the belief that there exists a sin too great for the mercy of God. To follow this thought is then to limit God's mercy, to put a cap on the love of Jesus Christ. And to this Jesus says, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men." (Mathew 16:23) When we enter into Reconciliation our sins are wiped from the memory of God, and only the wounds in our soul remain. It is here that we ask for God's grace to fill these holes, that we may be raised from our filth and we may still bear good fruit. As difficult as it may be sometimes we must accept God's love. We must accept the possibility that a being blanketed in purity wishes to cleanse us so we too may eat at His table. It seems so obvious an ideal, yet so often this false modesty separates us from God. Look at it this way: He didn't come down and die so that He may send you to Hell. I know it seems so elementary, I've just seen so many souls recognize this fault intellectually, but weak before the temptations of evil they succumb to the threat of despair.


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