Have clean clothes on.

St. Bernard worked zealously to convert sinners. He was also not afraid to visit various inns and other places where sinful people gathered. Once, he played billiards with his friends in a restaurant. One of them asked, “What would you do if God revealed to you now that you will die in one hour?” They answered differently. One would go to confess quickly, another to return what he had stolen, another to reconcile and say goodbye to his family… When everyone had answered, they curiously turned to Bernard. “What would you do?” Bernard replied: “I’d be happy to keep playing pool.”

Soon we are starting Advent – the coming of Jesus Christ. This period should not only remind us that Jesus came to Bethlehem but, above all, our expectation: the second coming of Jesus, the appearance of Christ the King. He urges us today:  “Therefore, watch all the time and pray that you may escape all that is to come and stand before the Son of Man” (Lk 21, 36). Expecting a meeting with the Lord is not something rigid, something which would kill us. This does not mean living in fear. On the contrary. Who lives in such a way that he is ready to meet God, lives a peaceful and joyful life. Because he has what is necessary for a quiet life – a clear conscience. A person with a clear conscience lives in harmony and friendship with God and the people around him. He who does not steal, does not slander, does not lie, who knows how to share, keeps Sundays and holidays holy, approaches the sacraments … in short, who gives to God what is God’s, to man, what belongs to man and to himself, which requires health of body and soul, he is ready to meet God. He is holding a lamp, that is – in his heart is the light of God’s grace.

Our life is full of meetings. From ordinary life, death appears to us as loneliness, as the severing of all bonds, friendships, and acquaintances. But the Gospel says otherwise. In it, we read about a big – new meeting with the Lord, which has a festive atmosphere. Therefore, a “new” forum because it is a meeting with Jesus, a person who has not yet seen with our own eyes but with whom we have been in contact for a long time with the help of our faith. Thus, a person living according to the Gospel, a person living with a clear conscience, has and can enjoy the fact that in death, he will not be thrown into solitary confinement because then he will leave everyone to meet Jesus in whom he will find the fullness of peace and happiness.

To enter the encounter with Jesus, we must have a wedding dress. Otherwise, we will be thrown out the door, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. The sign of this dress is our christening shirt, which we received at baptism. We were then cleansed from all sins and became God’s children. Let’s remember this day. It is our birthday when we are born into heaven. Brother, sister, when you received this robe, the baptist said: “…you have become a new creation, and you have put on Christ. Let this white robe be your sign of this rank. Your parents and relatives will help you by word and example so that you may bring him undefiled into eternal life.”

However, in life, we ​​often fall into a puddle as children; that’s why we have the sacrament of reconciliation. Don’t we sometimes delay repentance? Therefore, let’s prepare for the reception in the wedding hall now. Are we ready for a class we have no idea about?

If God revealed to us the hour of our death, would we remain calm like St. Bernard? If we are ready, then yes. If not, let’s consider our approach to reconciliation with God. Let’s resolve today that whenever we feel in our souls that we are heavy, we will surrender everything to God, as he wishes, and thus be ready with our hearts and our life to meet Jesus in full glory.

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Come to Jesus

Some thinkers speak succinctly about the need for dynamism in people’s lives. A person needs movement so his muscles don’t start to stiffen, and his joints squeak. And it also requires constant change in the psychological or spiritual sphere. With long-term passivity at one level of his thinking and behavior, he will get so used to this way of life that he will not feel any stiffness or creaking of his joints. He’ll be fine, and he’dinsteadr not even expresses his opinion so that he doesn’t have to change it. And therein lies the danger of everyday life. We will find our suitable tracks and go where they take us. “Follow me…” They immediately left their nets and followed him. Jesus’ words often cut into uncomprehending or hard souls. It seems that time has not dulled the edge of his words. Even now, we do not want to see the need for his challenge. Jesus did not come to force his teaching or philosophy of love on the people around him and their generations. Among other things, he wants to show us only thatjoy and truth can only be achieved through constant internal changes. He does not want to leave us standing in one place or walking only one way.

For example, it abolishes the laws of blood sacrifices enacted by Moses and points to a new way of building a relationship with God. It seems that he saw very well the need for a person to constantly review his previous way of life, the level of relationships and friendships, and the methods of creating them. Our beaten path of life with different profiled wheel tracks. It is essential to change it. But how do we find an effective way to help us make the correct change and not fall back into the usual “drive”? They say that as many people, as many original heads, and as many heads, as many views. Each one is interesting and more or less accurate. Therefore, they can be an enrichment for us.

Let us open our hearts and discover how the horizon of beauty begins to expand for us – like when we climb up to the top of a hill, and a pa, panorama of nature opens before our view, which we could not see from below. Lord, open our spiritual sight and hearing so that we can see and hear how you individually lead us to yourself in the mundanity of our days.

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Let us remember the approaching redemption.

We know about God that he is eternal. That is why we cannot speak of God as yesterday, today, or tomorrow. With God, it is always now. Sin brought, among other things, the punishment of aging and waiting for the end of life. Therefore, our life is filled with beginnings and endings. We are aware of this even today, at the end of the liturgical year when the texts of today’s readings advise us to look to the future. When a stage ends in our life, it is customary to evaluate this stage before we start the next. Looking back, the past is counted, and we are happy when the evaluation brings a profit. However, God proceeds quite differently. He tells us not to settle for any sense of gain but to keep moving forward. However, he does not want to frighten us with dire predictions but announces that his arrival will be accompanied by something dramatic. Lukáš described it: “There will be signs in the sun and the moon, and in the stars, and on earth the nations will be full of anxiety…” (Luke 21:25). 

Let’s stop and learn from what the evangelist Luke wants to tell us. We are given a satisfactory explanation, which the text speaks of dramatically and refers to the destruction of Jerusalem, which represents the Church amid the world. Exegetes of this text see in these words the end of the world and the beginning of the kingdom of God. Others, on the other hand, interpret these words as a reminder that we should always be ready for the coming of the Lord Jesus, which they understand by each person’s death. Let us also realize that the Lord Jesus will come one day. And this time, which we are beginning to experience, should also prepare us for it.

What will happen when that time comes? Who among us does not wish with all his heart for success and justice? This is what the Lord God promised Jacob, and Jeremiah reminds the nation that the Lord will soon fulfill his promise. Each of us desires success. Everyone thinks that someone will bring it to them. Are we not witnessing many turning to false prophets or various others to experience happiness finally? And don’t we see how they invent all kinds of things to taste joy? A person very much needs someone to bring him joy, guide him, and clarify what ings for him. And so the Lord comes, and that is because people long for him, so that the Savior of the world will arise from them. At the same time, he reminds us to be vigilant because, with his arrival, he will surprise many and frighten them wherever they are on earth.

Luke calls him the Son of Man to explain the distance and difference between the Son of Man and us and to show that he possesses all power. The coming of the Lord is presented as a dramatic connection and a quick meeting of man with God. This unifying meeting of man with God is the cause of the emergence of an actual situation where a state of relaxation is,ses, and new freedom is obtained. And don’t the words of Scripture tell us about this when great signs are mentioned? Under the influence of authors who in the Old Testament talk about extraordinary interventions of God in history, the evangelist Luke tells us about cosmic signs: the sun, moon, and stars, but also signs on earth: about the anxieties of nations, the waves of the sea, but also about death from fear.

Of course, none of us will be able to investigate these signs that St. Luke speaks of, yet we have the impression that his fantastic predictions result from his ignorance or his writer’s imagination. And yet, encouraged by the word of this gospel, we should not learn to look at what is being done around us, and hopefully, we would be able to foresee the coming of the Lord Jesus. Let’s find the causes of all shortcomings: diseases, personal failures, international events, or natural disasters. Therefore, whatever calamity, experiment, prediction of war, revolutionary unrest, swift hurricanes, or dazzling lightning were signs of God’s power shaking the world, they would not allow us to sleep in contented tranquility, and therefore he commands us to move forward so that when the end comes, we desire to receive the Lord Jesus. If we lived daily with Jesus, such predictions would not surprise us.

The Lord Jesus always comes, and we would like an immediate response to the invitation. It is only up to us whether this meeting will continue forever. The Lord Jesus is coming, and we generally know his signs. They persuade us, and yet we fear that we will not be able to realize them. Let’s also remember that his arrival does not have to endow us with joy and justice. It can also bring us the opposite if we don’t listen, which is why we receive two sad pieces of advice today.

The first piece of advice: “Take care that your hearts are not weighed down,” and Lukáš specifies what: “with gluttony, drunkenness, and worries about this life” (LK 21:24). This advice does not apply to most of us. After all, who among us considers himself a reveler or an alcoholic? And who among us does not justify his worries, his situation, his health, and his children’s futuredren by claiming that he is only fulfilling his duty? Indeed, it is worth discussing the value of Luke’s advice. However, we see that Lukáš gives us precious advice. We are to fulfill the duties of each day; we are to get rid of the struggle of our hearts. He, with a hard heart, cannot recognize the signs of the coming of the Lord Jesus. Preoccupied with his worries, he shuts himself up and is only interested in himself. He judges all matters, events, and people according to his benefit, which he can achieve from them, and therefore he cannot even hear the Lord Jesus’ address. More than one of us has already experienced the disappointment of our self-enclosedness, the torment of spiritual blindness to everything that does not belong to us. When we wanted to get out of it, we often threw ourselves into the vortex of entertainment to forget about it. Only he will await the Lord Jesus with joy, who cleanses his heart, opens it for Christ, and does not close in on himself!

Luke also offers us a second piece of advice: “Therefore stay awake all the time and pray” (Lk 21:36). If the heart is pure, only then is it able to listen because it is freed from everything that would make it blind and coincides within the words of the apostle Paul, who says how we should live to please God. Then we will not be afraid of meeting the Lord Jesus when the terms of the Gospel will be fulfilled: “When these things begin to happen, stand up straight, lift your heads because your redemption” (Luke 21:18). This idea of ​​constant preparation was peculiarly but well understood by the man from the following example.

After each good deed, he repeated the sentence:
“Another apple was thrown over the fence!”
One day a friend asked him the meaning of these words.
He received the answer: “Not long ago, I invited the boys into the garden and allowed them to eat as much fruit as they wanted. But they were prohibited from taking anything with them or hiding it in their pockets. The boys ate their fill. Meanwhile, I noticed how one of the boys would sometimes catch a nicpleasantple and throw it over my garden fence for you to collect.
And this became a great lesson for me. I began to think like this: Do good to everyone because every good deed you do is like an apple thrown over the fence. When you come out of this life, you will find all your good deeds as you pass into eternity. They will help you get to a blissful life.”

We know about God that he is eternal. However, we only live here on earth for a specific time. We must prove ourselves and get  as many merits, graces,d good deeds as possible. Therefore, let’s use the time of life as responsibly as possible. The end of the liturgical year offers us a new impulse. Let’s look to the future with hope and be aware that it may be the last time in our lives. We can see signs around us and even feel them on ourselves. 

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End of the World.

Dies enthält ein Bild von: How This World Will Come to an End | Simplified

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Let those who live with Christ have no fear.

If a person wants to join a club or a sports team, or if someone has the task of recruiting people into a community, he tries to tell interested parties about everything positive that awaits them in the future. Sometimes reality is deliberately concealed, and shortcomings and difficult situations are not even mentioned.

Lord Jesus does not do that. He says openly: “They will lay hands on you, they will persecute you, they will throw you into prison, they will hate you for my name’s sake” (Lk 21:12). And he adds: “For I will give you eloquence and wisdom, which all your adversaries resist or contradict” (Luke 21:15).

What time does Jesus mean? It was so in the first Christian centuries when the Church was persecuted, but we can say that the Church of Christ is constantly persecuted, sometimes in one country or another. And Jesus’ word seems to be fulfilled even today.

Many of our brothers and sisters suffer among us because of their faith and religious beliefs. Many of us think they must rid us of backwardness, religion, and s prejudices and teach us advanced and more scientific thinking. And that is why those who live in deep faith are often persecuted. But, beloved in Christ, is this a reason to leave our relationship with Christ? Is this a reason to renounce his fellowship, his love? After all, why does Jesus give us a promise even today?

“For I will give you eloquence and wisdom, which all your adversaries will not be able to resist or contradict” (Luke 21:15).

For it to be true, as accurate load Jesus says, it is necessary to realize that we are to be one hundred percent Christians. Lord Jesus gives us this as a condition, even if he does not say it directly. The Holy Spirit will help us if we are people in our lives entirely according to Christ, f we are people of Christ’s character. That is, those who stand behind Christ at any cost, who are willing to sacrifice something for him. All united: believers, bishops, and priests must connect with the Holy Father, support him with prayers, and then the Holy Spirit will help us if we strive to fulfill Jesus’ prayer: Father, grant that all may be one. The prayer he prayed on the eve of his suffering for all of us.

Say, dearest in Christ, is this unity and faithfulness to Christ complete among us? Are we all committed together to the cause of faith and love for Christ? Unless this is achieved, they will have power over individuals. Therefore, let’s try to understand the word of Jesus this way. The Lord gives us a guarantee of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in terms of eloquence and wisdom, his own, but we must also strive to cooperate with the Holy Spirit for our salvation. It is only because of our perseverance that we save a life in eternity and happy bliss. However, as long as there is even a spark of lukewarmness or weakness in our religion, as long as Christ is not the only good for us, and as long as we are divided and fragmented, the weakening of faith will succeed even in ourselves.

Let’s learn from the past. The Church suffered in the first centuries, in England under King Henry VIII, and in France during the revolution, and was cruelly persecuted. Still, those who remained faithful to Christ emerged victorious from these situations.
How is it with us today? What are we doing to deepen our life with Christ?

Let us strive, dear brothers and sisters, for complete unification through mutual prayer and supplication to the heavenly Father. A plea to Jesus Christ that he, who suffered the most, be our only comfort and strength in our sufferings and mental anxieties. May he always bless us to make the right decision for loyalty to himself? So that he helps us in our choices, which will be firm and will not tolerate any polemics and speculations in matters of faith and religion.
If we can think and act this way, brothers and sisters, then we can rely on the wisdom and eloquence of the Holy Spirit, that he will inspire us with suitable thoughts, and we will respond appropriately even to those who have gone astray on their way through life.

In this way, we can understand why Jesus does not only talk about the positives and ideals in his Church but also about suffering and persecution. He wants us to live under all circumstances in the only truth, Jesus himself. 

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Luke 21, 5-11

We will save our lives if we persevere with Christ Many people have begun their plans in all areas of life with enthusiasm, they have been passionate about the cause, they have been spirited, and yet they have not come to the end of their goal successfully. Perhaps we know this from our own lives. Why does it happen? It’s not enough to just start, but you also need to persevere. Not to be discouraged, not to be discouraged, not to be seduced. All the more so when it comes to something so significant and important for our life, such as our eternal life, the salvation of our soul, the eternal encounter with Jesus. Because we are weak human beings, the Lord Jesus Himself wants to instruct us to persevere in the journey He has begun, as He counsels us in today’s Gospel: “Beware lest you be deceived. For many will come and speak in my name: That time is at hand. Do not follow them!” (Lk 21:8). Let us look at the text of the Gospel in more detail. A group of people gathered around the Lord Jesus, admiring the beauty of the Temple of Jerusalem. The architecture of the temple and the sacrifices that took place in the temple filled them with a kind of contentment. The Jerusalem Temple is the work of an entire nation, a reminder of their faithfulness as well as the protection of the Most High God. This gives the Jews self-confidence. And this is where the Lord Jesus speaks to us: “The days will come when not one stone will be left upon another of what you see; all will be destroyed” (Lk 21:5). We can imagine the concern that followed these words among those present. The temple was to be destroyed and what about the protection of the Most High God? What about the pledges of allegiance to the prophets? In light of this, curiosity and fear grow in intensity, and so they ask, “Teacher, when will it be, and what will be the sign when it begins to happen?” (Luke 21:7) This is a serious curiosity. It is necessary to prepare for this, to prevent the catastrophe, or not to be surprised by it. We see, however, that the Jews believe more in the temple than in the presence of God. They fear for their temple, they fear that it will be destroyed. Let us think whether we do not hear such similar alarmist messages even today. The church will be destroyed! We see various actions arising in groups that want to hurry to help the Church. We see something similar with the Jews who want to save the temple. Even today some believers want to save the Church and its tradition. In doing so, they do not realize that it is not they who save the Church, but that the Church saves them and they can be saved in her. If the Lord Jesus had told us that the Church would cease to exist, surely some would have rejoiced greatly, others would have remained indifferent, but there would also have been many who would have worried as they would have been influenced by various truths. After the questions, which we understood well, Jesus takes the floor. He does not speak of the time when the destruction of the sanctuary will take place and what events will precede it. Let us recall that the Lord Jesus never answered questions just to satisfy human curiosity or to appease human restlessness. The Lord Jesus helps those who pay attention to this to remain content, to take note of this fact, and thus actually warns them of the dangers or difficulties. Immediately afterwards, however, He points out how to live rightly. Above all, he warns of the dangers of false prophets. For at that time, because of the turmoil, people begin to look around them for someone to satisfy them. The Lord Jesus warns them against the “miracle explainers” of that time. He warns them against those who will distort the facts and who will identify faith with economic or even political matters. Do we not often hear disturbing words too? Believers are obliged to belong to the left! What is to be understood by this? The Lord Jesus says: Do not follow them! Do not call anyone Father, Teacher or Lord. For it is hard to trust anyone else to decide what God wants of us. The Lord Jesus trusts that everything He says will become clear and understandable to us. Immediately afterwards, the Lord Jesus warns against false alarms about the end of the world, because such talk is quickly believed. The mention of great earthquakes, famines, various terrors, and of great signs in the heavens is a precaution so that the one who has believed Christ’s words will not be alarmed when any of these words come to pass. In these events it must not yet be thought that the end of the world has already come. The various false reports have a bad effect on man’s behaviour. Often under their pressure man commits follies and indiscretions. Such alarmist messages bring about various changes in the world, but they should not touch our inner being. The news of the end of the world causes man to decline, as if he had ceased to be himself. Think of the Jehovah’s Witness sect. This sect has “known” exactly when the world is going to end many times. On the appointed day they waited ready in white sheets. It seems ridiculous, but when one considers it, it is painful how some circles of people can strip other people of their humanity with their prophecies. We have to realise that all these false prophecies about the end of the world that are being spread by various cultists are harmful. Such prophecies lead to indifference and slowly but surely to apostasy from God. Thus, all this has an unwholesome effect on the inner being of the believer. These false prophets thus attack the most precious thing, that which is in us from God. And this is what the Lord Jesus is talking about in the next section when He emphasizes that the real conflict is within us, in our inner struggle with evil reactions as well as with other people. Everyone is subject to unrighteousness, to aggression from others, especially those who hold various ranks and positions. “But before all this they will lay hands on you and persecute you, they will deliver you over to the synagogues and imprison you, they will drag you before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. These things will happen to you, that you may bear witness” (Luke 21:12). Here one realises that one may become the object of others, often those dearest to one’s heart, seeking to harm one: ‘They will also betray your parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and will take the lives of some of you’ (Lk 21:16). Therefore, everyone can encounter opposition, often even outright malice. Everyone can therefore feel lonely even within the circle of his own family, and yet feel within himself that he cannot trust anyone. He is convinced that they are encroaching on his freedom, that they are exerting a strong pressure on him, and therefore he will strive all the more to free himself from them. That inner struggle has actually been provoked by the opinion of other people, which hides a certain thing, namely, that the sanctuary is being torn down and the dwelling place of God is being built up. It must be remembered that one must not resort to self-defence, nor seek for victorious weapons, for that would be personal revenge. To respond with aggression to aggression is a notion that does not match the spirit of the Gospel. The believer is not defending himself, but witnessing in a different way, that is, pointing to the presence of the living God by his behavior and words. Otherwise, man is helping God for his own ends. When man ceases to think of himself, then God unites Himself with His sacrifice and gives him “eloquence and wisdom” which your adversaries will not be able to resist or contradict.

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Jesus – one of us – a natural person, and yet different.

Many imagine that the Lord Jesus as God – God’s Son – looked at the world differently, lived differently, felt differently, and thought differently than people. He thought differently because he knew the Lord God and knew that trusting Him was more important than having a lot of beautiful clothes. At the same time, he was human and experienced all the joys and worries of human life.

He was born as a human child, and although the mention of Jesus’ childhood is scant in the Bible, it is highly likely that he already experienced sorrows, joys, and disappointments  in childhood  – like us. From the years of His adulthood, we have several references in the Bible to the fact that Jesus experienced events as a man. He was hungry when he hadn’t eaten in the desert for a long time(Matthew 4:2),  and he was tired and fell asleep after teaching the multitudes (Mark 4:1-2, 33, 35-38 ). In the Bible, we read that he dined with his friends (Mark 1, 29-31; John 12, 1-2; John 21, 5. 12. andt heandended a wedding    (John 2, 1-12).

But he also experienced with his heart what we – people – experience. He was sad when people did not want to listen to His preaching and did not have faith in the Lord God in their hearts; he was moved and cried at the death of a friend (John 11, 33-35, 38); he also called over the city of Jerusalem (Luke 19, 41-44), when he knew that the city would be destroyed because of the impenitence of its inhabitants. He was also angry (John 2, 13-17) when he came to the temple and found sellers there instead of praying for people. He also experienced anxiety when he was to be captured and crucified. He knew what was waiting for Him and begged the heavenly Father that it wouldwereke it wallpaper if it was according to God’s will. In the Bible,  sweat appears on the forehead from disturbance (Luke 22, 44). However, Jesus’ obedience to his Father was more significant than his fears.             

 Lord Jesus experienced his earthly existence with everything, the problematic and acomplexd we encounter in life. He was the Son of God, but His life was not easier because of that. On the contrary. He was not what awaited Him made it even more difficult for Him. Knowing the future is not an advantage. Maybe if we only knew nice things. But if we learned about the misfortunes, disea,ses and pr, problems that will meet us in life, could we be happy and experience joy? It would probably not be. We would be afraid and constantly wonder when and what will happen to us. Lord Jesus knew from the very beginning that they would capture Him, that He would suffer, and they wothat uld crucify Him. He preached to people about the Lord God and knew that many would reject Him, even betray Him, but despite this, he faithfully continued to fulfill his mission.

We have a true friend in the Lord Jesus because He lived a whole human life. That’s why he understands us very well If w is sick, sad, or troubled, when we are afraid, we can trust Him calmly. He knows how we feel. He not only understands us but also has the power to help us. Therefore, our prayer to Him should not only be to inform Him about our problem but mainly to show that we confidently expect help from Him. And He will give it to us at that time, and in the way He deems right.                Read the following two texts from the Epistle to the Hebrews: 

   5, 1-5:  ” 1 Every high priest who is among men is appointed for men in the things of God: to bring gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is ablecanhize with the ignorant and the wandering, because he subject to weaknesses; 3, therefore, he is obliged to offer a sacrifice for sins both for the people and for himself. 4 And no one can take the rank by himself, only if God called him like Aaron. 5 Similarly, Christ himself did not honor himself with the rank oflevelh priest, but (honoree the who said to Him: You are my Son, I have begotten You today.          

   4, 14-16:  ” 14 Since we have a great High Priest who has penetrated the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to the confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but (we have a High Priest) similarly tempted in everything, (but) without sin. 16 Let us, therefore, ch with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in due time”   and consider how Jesus is the same as us and how he is different from us.      

Lord Jesus is a real man, but also a real God. That’s why he can understand us and has power over everything. May this awareness encourage us to pray with confidence.

 JESUS ​​IS TRUE, GOTHE D.  God found a way to use him. He has the power of God, knows, aand and can help us.               

 JESUS ​​IS A REAL MAN. – He was similar to us humans except for sin  (Hebrews 4, 15); he understands us, knows our worries, and wants to help us.

If we were to search for the root of miseries, pain, injustice, and so ffering in our world, we would realize they have their root origin from the Lord God. It is a solid case that someone gets sick because they have departed from the Lord God. However, sickness and pain are indeed due to man’s deviation from God. DeviatiDeparturehe source of goodness and life logically brings evil and pain that affects many. Where we despise the warmth of God’s love, the pernicious cold of injustice, oppression, and selfishness creeps in. And then many ask: Where is God? How is it that he is silent and does not say anything about fights, wars, exploitation, or poverty? How is it that the Lord God does not intervene against injustice, strife, destruct, and in of nature – our beautiful world?…

Although it is not easy to untangle the destinies of the world and humanity and find traces of how God spoke, the Lord God spoke msaidimes in different ways (Hebrews 1, 1). Through his messengers – prophets, he intervened in people’s lives, and many knew at that moment that it was good and wise to obey God. However, God’s intention is not to reach us with violence, power, terror, fear, or r-mongering. In the winter of sin and human suffering, God finally spoke in a way they could have imagined. The Lord God Himself, in human flesh, descends into our misery, suffers, and in boundless love with us. He brings us salvation. The following story by Mikuláš Lipták (from the monthly Evangelical East No. 1/2003) summarizes it succinctly:

     “It was terribly cold. A tit with fluffy feathers was huddled on the bare branch of our cherry tree. I felt very sorry for her. Therefore, I sprinkled some crumbs and small pieces of nuts on her rainbow board. I was delighted when she noticed it and dared to fly closer. However, before she sat down to the crumbs and had her fill, she must have seen my dark silhouette in the window because she flew away in fear. After a while, hunger overcame her again, or she was attracted by the goodies and flew again. However, her fear of me did not allow her to take what was prepared. She flew away hungry. It happened again several times. In the end, she didn’t accept any of it – despite even thought having to help her with love and that I prepared everything for her. It was within reach. Unfortunately, fear was stronger. And so there was a threat that, despite he would perish despite my kind helped so bad or hint to her that she doesn’t have to be afraid of me, that I like her, that I see her difficulties and want to help her – that I’m not dangerous, on the contrary. But I painfully realized that I had no way to tell her. The only way would be for me to be born a tit and thus become comprehunderstandable. – God had to do that, that’; that’s come among us as a man. However, how many people are still prevented from receiving the life-giving thing by that unfounded fear of Him, without which they must perish.”

God wants not only to be known but also to be accepted. That is why he came to us in a human body. He took upon tribulations of the world, of us – the people he loves. In Jesus, we recognize that the Lord God is not a being who carelessly sits enthroned in heaven, distanced from us, and while that we sacrifice ourselves for him.

No, God is the One who suffers the most of all offers because we perish without Him; he su; he’s because we do not dare to accept Him.

We do not worship a God who enjoys a royal life, but a God who suffers for us and with us. He suffers so that we may not perish but have eternal life. Evangelist John writes about it:

 

“God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save it”

(John. 3, 16-17).

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Jesus only wishes us all the best.

You may have seen the representative work Historia Mundi – History of the world. Great deeds of essential people are described there; royal pedigrees, the splendor of royal buildings, and the immense power of monarchs, k, kings or emperors. How small we, simple people, feel next to them. In the Gospel, we heard about a poor widow who threw only two coins into the temple treasury, and the whole Church is talking about her, and she will be talked about until the end of the world.

Why? She showed us the way to the greatest treasure in the eyes of Jesus. He sat in the Jerusalem temple and observed faces, hands, and deeds. He observed hearts. Many rich people came who did not hide anything and gave out a lot of money. Everyone could see how much they lost. A timid widow also comes. She could not compete with the rich. Embarrassed, she threw two small coins into the box. She had no more. Jesus saw this, called his disciples, and evaluated this widow’s act with the words: “This poor widow threw in more than all the others” (Lk 21:3). The reason? The rich only gave from their surplus and did not become poorer; the gift did not hurt them. But she gave everything. Did she not act unwisely? What will she live on? Because she did not hesitate and gave everything, the Lord Jesus praised her. Christ speaks clearly about our genuine and most important need: Not food, not clothing, not an apartment, not a good chaplain’s place, but God! Without God, we would not live for a moment; without him, we are lost!

Dear brothers and sisters, the same Jesus is also mysteriously present among us; he looks at us and observes what we bring to the treasury of his Church. We approach modestly because we get only small coins and a few wallets according to the measure and standards of this world. The words of St. Paul also apply to our congregation: “Just look at your calling, brothers, that there are not many wise according to the flesh, nor many powerful, nor many born” (1 Cor 1:2).  Even today, Lord Jesus looks at this, how we approach the “treasury of his Heart”. Ch.”dren approach and bring childhood innocence, sincere religiosity. It is two pennies in the eyes of the world, it is a priceless treasure in the eyes of Jesus. Two young men come and put their marital fidelity into this treasury of God. Parents approach and place their children in the treasury of the Heart of Jesus. Elders and widows arrive, whose life has already been marked by work and crosses. They present their two wallets: a prayer and an offering.

Father died. Shortly before, he called his children and gave them a final warning and instruction: “Children, I want to tell you a little secret before my death. You were often dissatisfied that we always extended our evening prayer a little. You know that I always added a sixth tithe to the rosary,d I told you that it is sacrificed for a special purpose, which I did not reveal to you, but I will tell you now. When I married your mother, on the wedding day, I made a vow in which we promised the Lord God that every day to the rosary, we, will add a sixth tithe for the blessing of the son-priest. Now I die with a good feeling and the thought that not one but three of you have given yourselves to God. We did not tell you this so as not to affect the will of your vocation.” The father died, and the sons remained faithful to their profession.

From modest gifts, Jesus builds the kingdom of God. This is the greatness and dignity of the Christian life. But this also obliges us every time we enter the temple of God when we come to celebrate the Eucharist. Then we should examine ourselves and ask: Am I bringing everything I have? Do I present to God as a sacrificial gift my entire livelihood, my life with its joys and pains, work, effort, and failures? There is nothing more reasonable we can do with our lives than to throw them into the treasury of God’s goodness and mercy. So it will keep its value forever.

Let us, therefore, pray with St. Ignatius: Take, O Lord, accept all my freedom, my memory, reason, and all my will. All that I have or that I rule. You gave it to me, and I give it back to you, Lord. It’s all yours, do with it as you please. Give me only your love and grace because it is enough for me.

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Saint Elisabeth of Hungary.

Toto obsahuje obrázok:

Today we commemorate the feast of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. A woman who perfectly fulfilled the meaning of her name – the origin of her name is Elizabeta, and means “God is generous.”. She is most often depicted holding bread and roses in her arms. Even in my childhood, this miracle of hers appealed to me. I sat under her statue and imagined how she boldly walked to the poor, gave away, took care of them, and God helped her in this. When needed, he turned the bread into roses to protect her so she could do even more good. Even in today’s gospel, we see a parallel in generosity about the fact that our task is to be like Elizabeth. Not to collect but to give away.

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Et’s strengthen faith in eternal life!

This time of November has led many of you to think or discuss whether there is life after death. Perhaps you have read the book Life after Life by the American doctor Moody, who deals with Lazarus’ symptoms. The stories he describes happened to those who survived clinical death and were awakened to life. This may not yet convince anyone of the existence of life after death. Still, many are troubled by a lot of confusion when reading it, such as understanding depersonalization, the great light, the tunnel, the wonderful feeling of joy, and so on. In this soulful time, Jesus wants to bring light to our doubts with today’s Gospel, which describes the meeting of the Lord Jesus with the Sadducees, who deny the resurrection.

The Sadducees asked the Lord Jesus about the resurrection of those who had died physically. We also often meet Sadducees. A group of Sadducees sought conflict to oppose Jesus. The Sadducee class came from the strict priestly class and became more of a political group than a religious one. We may take them as a second Jewish sect, smaller than the class of Pharisees, with whom they disagree because they teach more strictly and have confined the revelation of God to the Five Books of Moses. They deny the resurrection and the soul’s immortality; they do not believe in life after death or angels.

Therefore, they tell Jesus a fictional event that is directed against him. They refer to the Law of Moses, which orders: “… if someone’s brother dies who had a wife but was childless, his brother should marry her and beget offspring for his brother”  (Lk 20:28). They also talk about one woman who, after the death of her husband, was married to his seven brothers. That is why they ask the Lord Jesus: “Well, which of them will be his wife at the resurrection? After all, the seven had her as his wife” (Lk 20:33).

The Sadducees say there can be no life after death because comic scenes would follow. The previous question formulated in this way is ridiculous. However, it is not because there are many similar questions even today. When people talk about life after death today, many do not believe in life after death, ridicule and misinterpret it. For one group, this life is compatible with our life here. That’s why they try to live fully here on earth, and that’s all they expect from life. The second group speaks of the double life as a mystery that beckons man. However, it is vague and therefore resembles dreaming of an earthly paradise where one will not lack material things, goods, and joy. So they see the second life after death as a higher quality earthly life. Some say we only live once, so life should be enjoyed to the last drop. Others, on the other hand, give themselves up on dreaming of a place of fantastic progress in earthly understanding. True, there are many different attitudes among us. We must not forget to mention those who live in connection with God. Their knowledge of eternal life is vague, something like a fog before us that prevents full knowledge.

We can also ask: Is there a resurrection? If so, how will it be done? We are supposed to believe it, but how do we convince ourselves of it? In this spirit, the questions of the Sadducees and, indeed, many of us were asked. They talked about marriage and its continuation after death. The Lord Jesus will tell them that their thinking about these things is purely earthly. Therefore not concerned with the items after death, which require different reviews. Consequently, he emphasizes to them:  “Sons of this age marry and are given away. But those who are recognized as worthy of that age and resurrection no longer marry or give in marriage”(Luke 20:36). This does not mean that they cease to be human, but that natural laws no longer apply to them after death. A completely different, new reality has arisen, separate from the one on earth, and therefore people in the new life after death are not angels. Still, they are no longer people in the earthly understanding of the word.

Jesus explains two essential characteristics of life after death:

1. They will no longer be able to die. We must understand that they are freed from all biological processes. You can’t talk about illnesses, worries, difficulties, and the like here.
2. They will be called sons of God. This new life completely replaces life on earth, and we can understand it as entirely different. It is a new birth.

In the first part of the answer, Jesus points out a fundamental approach to these things. It is an answer not only for the Sadducees but also for us. So when he talks about life after death, he cannot stick to the evidence that applies to life here on earth because something completely different applies to life after the end. When a person convulsively clings to the earthly understanding of the matter after death in this matter, he will not avoid wrong and erroneous views, and delusions will occur. That is the first part of the answer of the Lord Jesus. It may seem harmful to some, so Jesus explains it even more to prove to the Sadducees that those who have died will rise from the dead. He will point to a document known to the Sadducees, which are the words concerning Moses, who is the greatest prophet for them. Lord Jesus says:“… when he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. And he is not the God of the dead, but of the living, because for him all live” (Luke 20:37-38).

This is a serious thing to think about. These are profound words. They believe that Moses is alive, so they speak against each other. Jesus no longer says. He proves nothing more to the Sadducees. He only pointed to the text of the Scriptures known to the Sadducees and confirmed that it speaks of the resurrection. By this, he clearly says of their lack of faith and respect due to the living and true God when they deny what is in the Scriptures. Thus, when we believe in the living God, we must trust and entrust everything to him. We realize that the Lord Jesus does not say anything further, but what he said is very serious. To deny the resurrection after our death would bring the true and living God to the level of pagan gods made of inanimate matter, wood, or metal. And yet none of us trusts such gods. For the belief in the afterlife, the behavior of the seven brothers from the Second Book of Maccabees is a great encouragement.

These brothers were brought before the pagan king, forcing them to renounce their faith by torture. However, their belief in a new life after death gave them courage in the most challenging moments. Shortly before his death, the second of the brothers cried out: “You evil-doer, you remove us from temporal life, but the Lord of the universe, for whose laws we die, will resurrect us for eternal life” (2 Mach 7:9). The third brother, who is to be mutilated, he stretches out his hands and says: “I received them from heaven, but because of God’s laws I do not consider them as nothing, because I hope that I will receive them again from him” (2 Mach 7,11).

Our belief in the resurrection is based on a promise from God. Although the Maccabees did not know what awaited them after death, they were convinced of the resurrection, which gave them the courage to endure torture and death. One may want to ask how they came to such a firm conviction. We must remember that this question was during a time of persecution. They had to calculate that there could be martyrdom. Therefore, the preparation for this step did not begin when they were brought before the king. Still, they had been preparing for this moment long before, when they accepted the teachings of the true od and thus the risk that was associated with their faith. Whoever carefully followed the text could discover one profound thing. It is impossible to believe in the resurrection, in eternal life, if a purely intellectual way of thinking leads to it without special commitment and acceptance of a particular risk. This affects all of us. After all, we live in times and in a world that tries to distort and reject specific spiritual values. This one, the world’s disapproval of the faith practiced by the world today, is why it is more difficult for this world to understand the behavior of the seven brothers.

Today, the objections to faith are less visible and violent but much more dangerous. We encounter the denial of spiritual values ​​that can be decently explained. And yet we witness many apostasies, which are preceded by the renunciation of a zealous environment and the reduction of the Church’s influence on society. This indifference to faith causes serious difficulties. Suppose we do not seriously listen and courageously fulfill the obligations of faith, which also entails renouncing the things of this world, and its mindset. In that case, we must be aware that it may happen that we soon stop believing in the resurrection. To persevere in the faith means to unite one’s wisdom with the teachings of the Church. Saint Paul the Apostle knew this when he wrote encouragingly to the Thessalonians to persevere in prayer: “Finally, brothers, pray for us that the word of the Lord may be spread and glorified as it is with you and that we may be delivered from perverted and evil people; for not all believe” (2 Thessalonians 3:1-2).

We realize that we are all exposed to harmful influences like the Thessalonians. May God save us from this! St. Paul asks God to strengthen the believers and endow them with perseverance in faith. The time of souls we are experiencing is a seriosevere time toking about the value of life and its purpose, and therefore let this moment of thinking about the existence of life after death strengthen us. May our faith grow and become stronger every day so we can overcome all difficulties because there may come even greater ones than those we are experiencing today. Still, the thought that it will all end one day and the reward will let it be a joyful prospect for us in the future.

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