By Fr. John Jasica
CONCLUDING THE SERIES
This weekend we conclude our message series (preaching series) called INSOMNIA—THE FEARS THAT KEEP YOU UP AT NIGHT. Over the series we have looked at the fear of abandonment, money fears, death and instability in our structures and institutions. All of these fears are real, common and cause us true fear. So what is the answer??
CHRIST AS KING
This weekend we conclude the Church’s liturgical year. It is fitting that we conclude the year celebrating Jesus, who is our King. Yet Christ’s kingship is different than what we may think. Jesus does not have a crown of gold or a large throne, but a crown of thorns and a cross. Christ is King out of total sacrifice, service and love!! He doesn’t seek glory but completely empties himself for our salvation. Through his suffering, death and resurrection he brings us the gift of eternal life!!
JESUS IS THE ANSWER
With all the fears and worries we have in our lives—how does Jesus help us? He definitely does not take away the struggles and challenges, but he offers us a different perspective seeing things through the eyes of faith and invites us to see past the present and look into the depths of eternal life!! He also strengthens us to endure and persevere in addition to changing our ways to really overcome our fears.
It is so important to pray. We pray for help, strength, healing and thanksgiving. This is not a passive activity but it can be as challenging as any physical exercise routine. Prayer is about listening to God’s counsel and change our hearts to be in line with His. Our fears can fade if we let God into our hearts and draw closer to Him looking past the present fears or circumstances and realize that God is more important than anything else.
There are so many ways to pray. Going to Mass, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the rosary, the Way of the Cross, various novenas, lighting a candle at the St. John Paul II Shrine in the narthex to silent prayer in our Blessed Sacrament Chapel.
(2) LIVES OF THE SAINTS
As we celebrated on November 1st All Saints Day, it is important to reflect on the lives of those who are the “super heroes” of faith. The saints endured great challenges and struggles but they persevered through faith against things that seemed insurmountable. What kept them going and what allowed them to see light even in the times of complete darkness?
Their faith and trust in Christ allowed them to see past the present and see the joy and grace given to them. Their lives were not centred on themselves but on Jesus and those in need. Their lives were transformed and inspire us today to live differently — not in fear, not caught up in things that in the end are trivial or limited, but to embrace the new life Jesus gives us here and now. A life that never ends. A life that calls us to serve, sacrifice and love Him and others.
(3) FAITH IN ACTION
For us to truly embrace Jesus as King of our lives drawing close to Him, so that He may transform us, we need to give ourselves away like He did. Putting our faith into action and blessing those around us really helps us gain that perspective of our true lives and offering those in need around us, the gift of Jesus who seeks to lead us to heaven.
There are so many different ways to volunteer in the parish and beyond sharing who we are and what we have with those in need. As we share our lives we help build community, get to know one another and live as people of hope. A hope that is fulfilled as our final destiny is union with our Master and King in heaven.
The great challenge is to surrender ourselves to Jesus and not be tied up to the things we want/value over what the Lord and King freely gives us. The key to overcoming our fears is the gift of our faith that brings us to Jesus who invites us to choose Him over everything else. This is a daily decision we make to choose Jesus as the King of our lives!!!