Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary.
​Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” MT 5:43-48

Today’s Gospel ends the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus gives us the 8 ways to enter into eternal life with the Father. The 8 beatitudes parallel the Old Testament 10 commandments. Jesus ends with a hard statement, “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” All of our lives we have had high expectations put on us, but this one takes the cake. Jesus wants us to be perfect. All of us know that it is impossible to be perfect. Everyone makes mistakes and we all sin. So, what is Jesus really asking? He is asking us to be holy. Holiness is impossible for humans, but with God’s grace is possible. We are justified through our Baptism and Original sin is taken away. We have God’s life in us-grace. We are then set apart by God to be the best version of ourselves-Matthew Kelly. There is no other like us, ever! Our baptismal promises direct us to fight Satan and grow in holiness. As we grow up we learn the temptations of the Devil and our fallen human nature are hard to overcome. We find out that fighting sin and our human desires is impossible. Jesus died to have a personal relationship with us and give us the grace we need to do the impossible. On our journey, He gives us His grace in the Eucharist (never leaving us-thank you Jesus!) and Reconciliation, I have needed them every day, but sadly growing up only did it because it was part of the Catholic School routine. I have learned and understand better that these are great gifts that have helped me overcome many shortcomings and habitual sin in my life. To be holy, God needs our yes, totally and completely. Each Lent, as we fast, we learn that self-denial has many benefits. It leads us to prayer (Jesus, I need you.) and teaches us we can control our bodily desires. We grow in holiness. With God’s grace, we can stay in the state of grace and through prayer especially indulgences we can even atone for our temporal punishment. With a conversion of heart, we begin to repent, grow closer to Jesus and love our neighbor as ourselves. Love is at the center of conversion. Look at the crucifix and begin your journey to love back.

Today’s challenge: Live out your baptismal promises even greater this Lent, fighting Satan and your fallen human nature, through self-denial, prayer, and more intentional reflections on the Scriptures. Start at the foot of the Cross with Mary and John.

Be a servant, become a saint!
​#Christian YOLO