The struggle between Good and Evil is one that humanity has been dealing with from the first moments of time. Certainly within the last few weeks, it has not taken much to recognize the presence of evil in our world, but we find it much more difficult in our daily lives to see God's invitation to Love and then to respond to it.
Where do we look for Him? ...in the cathedrals of the world? ...on the mountaintops? ...on the shores of the sea? ...in the heart of the forest? I think that the Scriptures would point us to our own cities, our own homes, our own selves. If our faith in Jesus and our love of God do not bring joy and healing to our homes, and peace and justice to the streets of our cities - then it must be true that we still have not discovered the Christ.
We have read the story of the Ten Lepers so often throughout our lives that we sometimes take the point of the story for granted. The Lord has healed us all; we have all received an invitation - an invitation, not to go show ourselves to the priests, to but to live life in its fullness. And if God is so willing to give of Himself so totally to us, what then is our responsibility in accepting that invitation, and in making it known to our brothers and sisters?
Each and every one of us must strive to identify with this saving mission of the Lord. Every one of us must keep trying in all of our activities to bring the fullness of life to His people. We need to examine ourselves in the light of this definition and purpose.
During the crisis and trauma of past month, we have definitely been witnesses to The Lord's offering of Self through the self-sacrifice of others. Not all of us have this type of heroism. But we are all called to follow the example of the Master …not only to bring Christ's healing touch to others but also to recognize our need for one another as we journey in faith. How many times have we taken the kindness of others for granted and never bothered to say "Thank you." Think of how much more joy there would be in our homes or at work if we would just tell people that we appreciate it when they do something good for us.
We need to re-examine our faith-life: our prayer and worship, our sacramental programs, our educational system - both for children and adults - our various ministries to youth, to married couples, to the divorced and separated, to widows and widowers, to our senior citizens, to the sick and dying... all in the light of our call to bring "life in all its fullness" to all whom we meet.
The "life" that Jesus is talking about is much more than mere physical existence. He clearly means the God-life to which we are called by creation, by redemption, by sanctification. Jesus lived among us, died and rose again so that we would each realize to the full His Father's gift of Life and Love.
We come together as a community of faith for precisely the same purpose. So, in all that we do, individually and communally, we should be life-givers, life-enhancers. All of us who have been touched, cleansed and healed should be more fully alive because of what we do in response to His invitation.
And our constant message to all... to family and friends, to strangers and enemies, to young and old, to the ill and the healthy, to the rich and the poor... should be an invitation of our own: to share this Life with us, fully, completely, now and always.