Consciously or unconsciously, our lives give witness to the fundamental values that motivate us. We are constantly giving our lives over to our values; the question is whether our lives give witness to eternal values or whether they simply speak of worldly values. The life of Jesus is our ultimate guide to a life well lived, he is our prototype. Some of the values that we see expressed in his life are: the love of God, forgiveness and reconciliation, compassion, care for the poor and the marginalized, and healing, to name just a few. Too often we find our lives in conflict with these eternal values and our faith in the risen Lord constantly calls us to consider the great vocation to which we have all been called, the vocation to be Christ for our world.
Our belief in eternal life stands as a challenge to each of us, to live lives of integrity and authenticity. As our liturgical year comes to an end, we ponder the lives of those who have gone before us and we are invited to consider our own lives and the values that they reflect. In this examination we can see how interconnected our lives really are and the possible impact that our lives can have on others.
We are most authentic when we are loving God. Our love of God is expressed when we seek to bring that love into the daily decisions of our lives. It is a love that burns through our selfish tendencies and calls us to be men and women of reconciliation, justice and compassion. “The love of God urges us.” In 2 Corinthians 5:14, the motto of the Daughters of Charity belongs to all of us. The love of God urges us to go beyond ourselves and to seek greatness in our humility.
We will see the Glory of God and we will see the truth of our lives. Will that experience be one of the burning pain of regret or will it be the living flame of joyous love?
The Rev. Rex Hays is pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Sermon notes is a column by local religious leaders.