When I read through the first reading I find myself upset or scared about the message. It almost doesn’t seem fair that the virtuous man’s litany of good works can’t outweigh his path of sin at the end. I find myself wondering if I have “done enough” myself to enter into eternal life. What does my record look like? Have I done enough?
It’s at times like this that I have to take a step back and remember who God the Father is. He is not a distant scorekeeper, counting up our good deeds vs. our bad deeds. He is a loving Father who desires a relationship with us. He demands not perfection, but persistence in our Christian lives to pursue him, to be better tomorrow than we are today. He is willing to forgive our sins and our imperfections when we turn from them and give our lives back to Him.
What better time than Lent to take a deep, humble reflection of our own lives and where we stand with God. Archbishop Fulton Sheen described humility as “not an underestimation of what we are, but the plain, unadulterated truth.” When we truthfully look at our own lives, are we moving forward towards God? If we’re not happy with where we are, who can change that but ourselves? And who can we turn to but God, our Loving Father?
Tom Bruner lives in Philadelphia, PA with his wife Therese and daughter Lucy. He works for FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students as a Director of Collegiate Outreach in the East.