Let God Surprise You

Last week I preached at all the Masses about the human need to feel loved, wanted, and have self-worth.
I explained how being the object of rejection can rob a person of such necessary needs in life. I spoke on these matters as a reflection on the Gospel where we see Jesus rejected by his own to the point of wanting to do him harm. Indeed, rejection causes much pain and can cause great harm to the person being rejected.
In that homily, I gave examples of people and groups that suffer from rejection. Some of those examples can be
considered by some as “controversial” topics. It is my hope and prayer that we, as a Catholic Christian community, will never cower from speaking against any form of injustice and hatred. May we always be a community where everyone feels accepted and appreciated. May we never be a community that accepts
others conditionally.
I was surprised to receive so many compliments on that sermon, but, above all, I felt proud that so many have an open mind and an open heart, and want the compassion of God to be preached, no matter how sensitive some human
conditions are.
My spiritual journey has taught me about the importance to stand before the person of others without
judgement. It has also taught me about the importance to be fully present to the other without agenda nor judgement.
This practice always leads me to a greater and deeper inner freedom. It frees me from my own ego and from my own
agendas. It challenges me to go beyond my understanding and to search and walk in the path of compassion. It really
has helped me to be humble before all things and all persons. It has freed me of the weight of rigidity and judgement.
All in all, such a practice frees us to become more open to God’s surprises in our lives. And, believe me, God does
surprise us. The great thing about the surprises is that they always lead us to a higher understanding of God, a deeper personal experience of God, and the keen awareness that I cannot possibly love the God of Love while not loving my sisters and brothers. In this Sunday’s gospel we hear again the words: “Do not be afraid.” As long as we keep our eyes on Jesus, we will discover, that in the way of compassion, we have no need of fear. What a great surprise!!!
You are in my prayers and in my heart. Peace. -Friar Julio

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