Francis of Assisi
556 South Jersey Street;
Denver, CO 80224
National Catholic Church (PNCC)
St. Francis of Assisi Polish National Catholic Church (PNCC) @2008
The lessons presented today carry on with the learning and growing theme from last week, that of teacher and student. The imagery used in today’s lessons is planting and harvesting. The teacher is the sower, the seed is the Word and the soil is the student. We’re all bright enough to realize Jesus is the teacher, and the sower and we are the students, the soil.
Throughout the lessons, the emphasis is on the Word of God. Jesus was sent as the Word of God with a task to teach and to save, to show us the way to salvation. Our task is to take his yoke and to learn from him. It is our burden to provide the fertile soil for the Word of God to take root and to flourish. In the Old Testament Isaiah admonished the “Chosen People” to abandon their evil ways and seek God while he still could be found. Isaiah goes on to personify the "Word of God” when he said, “so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
The Word of God shall go forth to his chosen people and not return empty handed and he will fulfill the task he was given. This Word of God is God in his own right, God the Son. This Word of God is Jesus Christ, God the Son, the Son of God. It’s probably in these verses from chapter 55 of Isaiah that St. John found the basis of his theology of the Logos--- "the Word became flesh" which was further developed in the Wisdom literature. St. John found this term "Word" a most suitable expression to describe the Son of God who had been with God from all eternity. It was the “Word”, the Son of God who took on our human nature. It was through him that God created all things, as Isaiah said, "by a word of his mouth."
This Word of God was God in his own right, God the Son. The word of God Isaiah speaks of, the advice and admonition sent through God’s prophets, though valuable and Godlike, was but a shadow of the real Word of God, God’s divine Son, who came on earth to bring all people to heaven. He carried out his allotted task. He fulfilled his Father's will to the letter, even when this meant a life of suffering and death on a cross. He was, in fact, raised from the dead, and returned to heaven victorious, the leader of innumerable souls that will follow him until this earth ceases to be.
Heaven is open to all people of good-will. God, who is Love, has infinite ways of reaching the hearts of sinners and bringing them to repentance. But we Christians, who are fully acquainted with all that God has done for us, are obliged to do all in our power to make God, and his plans for our eternal happiness, known to those who are still ignorant of him. We must be the fertile ground that brings forth abundant fruit and seen as products of God’s love. Any Christian, who really appreciates what God has done for them,
will feel compelled, out of gratitude, to help to bring this knowledge to God's other sons and daughters who are still in the darkness. They are also God's adopted children even though they’re not aware of the fact. Fidelity and true loyalty to the Christian life and teaching, which it is our privilege to have, are prime factors in helping to spread among those who do not yet possess it, the knowledge of God and his plans for all men. Fervent prayer for the conversion of sinners is another means within the reach of all of us, and a very effective means.
In response to God’s bountiful gifts make a pledge this week that as you pray for your personal needs you will also pray for the conversion of unbelievers and sinners that you know. You can be certain, God will prove himself big enough and generous enough to grant your requests. When you find life difficult, and you are bearing cross laid upon cross, remember what St. Paul said today: "the sufferings of the present time are as nothing compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us." What are a few years of pain of body or mental unhappiness, when compared with an eternity of peace and happiness in the world to come?
We’re exiles returning home, we have to work for our passage and earn our way. But we can be certain of reaching our happy home in God’s kingdom, if we work for that passage diligently and patiently and cheerfully.