Monday, October 20, 2014

Work for the Lord!

 "For we are God's handiwork, His masterpiece, 
His workmanship, created anew in Jesus 
to do good works prepared for us in advance..." 
Ephesians 2:10
Last year, Pope Francis said something 
in one of his daily homilies that created a lot of controversy. 
Pope Francis usually says mass in St. Martha's House, 
where he lives, and he gives a homily like a regular priest, 
without a text to read from. 
From one of these homilies it was reported around the world 
that he said that atheist
could get to heaven by their good works.

Reading from the transcript, 
it is apparent that the Pope did not mean this. 
He said that we all, even atheists, have the duty to do good. 
And perhaps, because we were created by a good God 
we have that inner urge, that drive, that need to do good.
He said, “The root of this possibility of doing good – 
that we all have – is in creation." 
And the Pope goes on to say that 
even non-believers "must. Not can: must! 
Because he has this commandment within him. . . 
the Lord has created us in His image and likeness, 
and has given us this commandment 
in the depths of our heart: do good and do not do evil”."
"And this commandment for everyone to do good, 
I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. 
If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, 
if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, 
little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: 
we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good."

 And here is the statement that caused such an outcry, 
when the Pope imagines a dialogue: 
"But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ 
But do good: we will meet one another there.”
"There" does not mean heaven, but an agreement, 
a path towards peace. 
Indeed, Jesus made an example of the good samaritan 
who was a neighbor to someone in need. 
We all have a purpose, we all have good works to do. 
We all need to make time, 
to use our talents and treasure to bless others!

Jesus was asked whether it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar 
and he asked to see the coin that pays the tax. 
"Whose image is on it?" He asked, and they answered, "Caesar's." 

"Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar 
and to God what belongs to God." 
Matthew 22:21

Whose image is on us? 
Are we not stamped in the image and likeness of God? 
If we belong to God, we should give Him what is His due- 
honor, obedience, service.

Saint Thomas More was asked to sign a document 
declaring that it was all right for King Henry VIII 
to make himself the head of the Church of England 
and to remarry even if his legal wife was still alive. 
Thomas More refused and he was arrested and tried for treason. 
On his way to his public execution, 
his last words were "I die the King's good servant, but God's first."
Today's gospel shows that although we are citizens of this world, 
we are first citizens of Heaven. 
If ever there is a conflict, we must choose to do 
as St. Thomas More did, and put God first!

"The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few..." 
Luke 10:2
We used to sell a figurine in our shops with the words, 
"Work for the Lord-the pay isn't much 
but the retirement plan is out of this world." 
A lady pointed it out to her daughter and said, 
"I gave this to your dad and it changed his life." 
Apparently the father had been a workaholic 
and the family hardly saw him. 
After he received the figurine, 
he devoted more time to his family and to God.
Yes the harvest is abundant, 
and many more "laborers" are needed. 
We may say we don't have the gifts necessary, 
but Jesus' apostles were the most unlikely bunch. 
He chose them not for what they were 
but for what He could make of them! 
At the start, they usually 
wanted to send the crowds away. 
They thought children were a nuisance. 
Jesus had to teach them for 3 years, 
and even that was not enough. 
He had to die so He could send a helper, 
the Holy Spirit, so they could become brave, wise and 
willing to give up their lives to be 
"laborers in the vineyard", "fishers of men".

 There is a book written in 1773 by a 
then 22 year old Tom Boston with a funny name, 
"The Art of Man Fishing". 
He wrote that the net of the gospel 
is woven from the PROMISES of the gospel. 
I think if we want to be effective fishers of men, 
we need to know the promises of the gospel, 
we need to believe and claim the promises, 
so that we can tell others with conviction 
that all Jesus said is true!

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  1. Patsy, your blog post is wonderful. The laborers are few and your art is an encouragement to me and many. Thank you for posting your beautiful art with us this week during our 154th challenge at Word Art Wednesday. Carole Robb Bisson

  2. Pope Francis, for me, is a breath of fresh air... thank you for sharing his words, for I think you are right - so many of us, particularly those in the church, hear the things that raise as 'red flags,' and we close our ears and hearts to what is really being said. For it's so true - we are all of us image bearers, and a bit of him is in us whether we recognize it or not. Thank you for sharing with Unforced Rhythms.

  3. I didn't know about this story with Pope Francis. But I love the implications - what if we meet each other doing good? What can transpire when we mingle with others who do not believe the same as us? How can God use us, perhaps not even with our words, but with our actions, to share the Gospel?

  4. Beautiful, Patsy. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. I enjoy your art and posts so much.
    Word Art Wednesday


I am so glad you dropped by! You are a blessing!
:^) Patsy