Sunday, March 11, 2007
FATHER JAMES FARFAGLIA'S HOMILY
Lent And Our Spiritual Progress
Without a doubt, Lent is the most demanding time of the year for the true disciple of Christ. Lent provides us an opportunity not only to intensify our spiritual practices, but this penitential season also gives us a unique opportunity to reflect deeply on the progress of our journey towards eternal life. St. Paul reminds us that our entrance into Heaven is not a guaranteed reality when he writes, "Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall" (1 Corinthians 10: 12).
Lent is a time for seriously questioning ourselves about our relationship with God. We might ask whether there are any particular sins or attachments that might prove to be obstacles to our achieving eternal salvation. A serious Lent is not only like a spring cleaning in which we cleanse our souls of the clutter that has been accumulating there, it is also a time when changes in the way we live our lives may be in order.
This Sunday's Gospel passage underscores this theme as Jesus makes it very clear that our decisions and actions do have consequences. Our God is a God of mercy, and he forgives any repentant sinner; however, this forgiveness does not take away from the fact that deliberate rejection of the truth does have a personal cost.
Many people in our present day have experienced profound conversions. The personal testimonies of life changing experiences bear continual witness to the ever-present action of the Holy Spirit in the lives of all those who are searching for happiness and peace.