Convenient Religion

In today’s times, the name of the game is convenience: If you need to eat, just have the food delivered; if you want to buy something for the house, the stores are open 24 hours a day; if you want to watch a movie right now, just go to the internet. We all want it fast, we all want it easy, we all want it convenient.

In the Gospel, Jesus reminds us that faith is not easy, it is not fast and many times, it can be inconvenient. Some of our Christian brothers and sisters say that just “Accept Jesus as your Personal Lord and Savior and you will be saved.” First, this is not in the bible and second, it is farthest from what Jesus tells us to have eternal life.

Jesus uses the imagery of a narrow gate vis-a-vis what the world offers – wide gates, wide road. Three reflections of why faith is a work in progress:

  1. Jesus challenges us to pick up our crosses. We pray every day for the Lord to take out the pains of our lives, the inconveniences of our lives, and the hardships of our lives. Sometimes He does. Often he doesn’t. What he gives us is strength and hope to carry the crosses of our lives.
  2. Jesus challenges us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute you. When revenge is in our minds, here is Jesus telling us to forgive and pray. When the feeling of hurting others is very strong, here is Jesus telling us to turn the other cheek. It is not easy to forget ourselves and trust God.
  3. Jesus reminds us to Trust only God. Jesus told a rich man to sell all his belongings and give it to the poor and to follow Jesus. What if something happens to me? What if I need the money? It is not easy to let go of our material security.

In the Mass, three things we remember:

  • God has a plan for you and me. That is why he lent us time, talent and treasure.
  • We are only passing by in this life. Whether it is 10 years, 50 years or 90 years, it is all borrowed time.
  • What matters is life eternal. Life eternal starts now – how we love God and how we love our neighbor.

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