It is Canada Day and the Readings we use are specific for Canada Day. We thank the Lord for the blessings we have. For the beauty of the country, especially, Victoria in British Columbia, for the people, the security of life and despite what people complain about, the government still works. I love this country and am thankful for the blessings God gave me throughout the years we live here.
Yet when I compare the current state of the country to what the Readings say, I cannot help but feel sad that country has forgotten God. We have become so prosperous, that we think we can do without God. When people start to think this, they slowly and surely will slide into destruction. The arrogance of people have made them think they are God and the success they have is by their own skills and effort. While yes, we do need to do our part, all these belong to God. It is through God’s mercy that we enjoy all these blessings. The First Reading reminds us of the blessing God has for foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants. The blessings we have, the comforts of life, the joy of life come from God. Yet, when we look around, we see people who are materially wealthy, but many do not have joy. Why? Because we have forgotten God. We have forgotten what the Psalm tells us: Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise. We forget how to live in God’s house and how to sing his praise. We have rejected God and this is why God has left us to fend for ourselves.
Jesus shows us in the Gospel today, God wants to bless us, and Jesus shows us how this is achieved. To be poor in spirit is to have nothing to boast. It is to trust Jesus which results in us possessing the kingdom of heaven, who is Jesus himself. When we mourn, we lose something of value and the tendency is to seek comfort. While things can give momentary comfort, true comfort comes from the God of consolation. To achieve this, we need to be meek to the Lord, to be obedient to him which leads to us inherit the earth. When we hunger and thirst for righteousness, we yearn for what is right. God alone can fill that yearning and no one else. Our yearning for justice is tempered by our mercy to others, especially those who have hurt us. When we show mercy, God will be merciful to us. If we do not forgive, we will not receive forgiveness from God. When we forgive, we will find peace. We reconcile with those who have hurt us. Then we become children of God. Peace is not the absence of conflict. Peace is one that Jesus gives. It results from being reconciled with God and fellowmen and it is based on the Truth of Jesus Christ. We hear today: No justice, no peace. We need to say: No justice, no peace, when there is no God. Justice is not based on human law. Justice is based on God’s law and this justice bring peace.
When we seek peace based on the Truth of Christ, we will be persecuted. People will hate us and bully us, say bad things about us and silence us. But Jesus says, this is how we possess the kingdom of heaven. Peace is not giving in to evil. Peace is holding to the Truth and to what is right. We cannot have Jesus if we do not trust him and obey him and give our lives to him.
While God wants to bless us, we need to want these blessings and accept. The blessings are there for the taking. But if I do not even reach out my hand to take them, the blessings mean nothing to me. So yes, it is God’s plan to bless us. But we need to respond to that blessing, by surrendering our lives to Christ, by seeking the Truth of Christ, by dying to myself for the sake of Christ and righteousness.
Do you want God to bless you? Surrender your life to Jesus, repent and turn to Jesus then you will receive the blessing from God. There is no other way. I cannot say I want God’s blessings and continue to live in sin.
Lord Jesus, I have rejected you in my life, preferring to think I can do things on my own, boasting of my own achievements. I realize, what I have now comes from your mercy. You gave them to me. Yet I still seek fullness of life. And this is possible only when I hunger and thirst for your righteousness, when I accept you as my Lord and Savior, when I trust you and seek your Truth that gives me peace. So I come to you and surrender my life to you. The coming days will be difficult, but Lord, let your will be done. This is the only way to have peace, this is the only way to have joy, this is the only way to have fullness of life: when I trust you.