ISSUES OF FAITH: Seek and speak to Jesus

HUMAN LIFE IS precious; we will begin with this.

Our souls are eternal, and God has given us free will.

We make choices, some are good and some are bad, but a constant that we can’t ever forget is that God loves us and desires our attention here.

He is our father, and make no mistake; we are his children.

The child Jesus was born in what we would call, by our standards today, serious poverty.

He lived a simple, but structured life, human in virtually every way; he laughed and played, but was very likely a mystery to his friends and family, in ways they couldn’t comprehend.

At 30, he began his public ministry announcing in bold fashion that the kingdom of heaven was at hand.

Almost immediately forces of evil and death were trying to end his life.

“Follow me,” he said.

Those that did knew of the danger, but they also knew that something greater was here.

The crowds grew and so did the threats on his life, but he knew something that so many of us don’t.

God will triumph in the end, that to carry the cross daily is part of the fabric of life, and that it is necessary to suffer to enter the kingdom of God.

Jesus suffered like a true man; in every way and more so, as he was carrying the burden of the sins of all of humanity.

The sore back we have or the car that won’t start don’t seem as bad now.

We have a choice, but we need to make some changes in our life, right?

Ask God to show you.

Speak to God as if he is sitting right beside you.

He doesn’t expect you, or us, to go through this on our own, to go through this life alone.

God is waiting. God is there.

Come on now, get to it.

Finding peace

There is a recent experience of my wife and I that I would like to share.

A couple of months ago we were in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the small town of Medjugorje. It was a pilgrimage for us.

A pilgrimage is really a quest where you seek God, faith, community, an adventure.

It was a Thursday night and we were at Mass.

We were outdoors because there were thousands at this Mass.

It is like this every night.

Sitting in front of us was a young mother with her child, and they were Italian.

There was something wrong with the child neurologically.

The mother cradled this child, loved and caressed him.

All of us were there for the same thing — to find peace in our lives and to encounter the prince of peace, Jesus.

The peace is palpable, but it isn’t supposed to stay there when we leave, but to travel with us and to spread, and to grow, like the mustard seed.

We’ve come to love, and the love of this mother for her son, the love of Jesus for all of us.

This love is unconditional and sacrificial, the highest form.

To lay down his life for us, his friends, there is nothing greater.

If you are a parent you most likely understand the word sacrifice.

It is unconditional, you do things withoutthinking, because it is your child.

You would do anything for your child, not out of selfishness, but out of love.

Finding love

We need not quibble about the existence of God because, Capt. Obvious, God is love.

How can you prove love? It is right in front of us.

One last thing — at the risk of repeating myself, talk and dialogue with God.

We Catholics talk to the cloud of witnesses: the saints, Mother Mary, her spouse Joseph, and of course the Alpha and Omega, Christ.

If you seek peace, if you seek truth, if you seek love, then you seek Jesus Christ.

Thank you and Christmas blessings.

_________

Issues of Faith is a rotating column by five religious leaders on the North Olympic Peninsula. Mike Acheson is director of religious education at Queen of Angels Roman Catholic Church in Port Angeles and St. Joseph Parish in Sequim. His email is mikea@olypen.com.

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