Last Sunday the second reading really stood out to me and I’ve been wanting to write about it ever since. Something about it spoke a truth into my heart that I had forgotten about for a while. I’ve written out the passage below:
“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies because the Spirit is the truth.”
His commands are not burdensome. Wow, if that is not a truth I forget on a daily basis. College is so hard because there is this expectation for how we are supposed to act and the type of life we are supposed to lead. Some people in my own family think I’m crazy because I don’t party or hook up with people or that I plan to wait to have sex until marriage. And, I think in the process of constantly having to defend our beliefs and being the odd one out of the “normal” college culture it can oftentimes feel like a burden to be Christian.Honestly, it can feel so lonely when you see all these girls going out every weekend and forming what seems to be these amazing relationships with people and having so much fun. It just seems like they have so much more freedom to be and do what they want. Being the odd one out oftentimes feels like a burden.
Yet, our Father clearly promises us – His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. It’s so easy to form this resentment in our hearts to those who don’t “obey” the commandments like we are trying to. I see other Catholics going out at my school and it frustrates me that they are going to mass and talking about pursuing a life with Jesus but turn around and get drunk with a fake ID.
Loving and following the Lord should never leave resentment in your heart.
It is in these moments that I recognize that I am the older brother in the story of the prodigal son, unable to see my Father’s forgiveness, with a heart full of envy and insecurities. It’s in these moments that I need to look at the log in my own eye instead of pointing out the stick in the eye of the other. Our Father promises a life of freedom but not a life without suffering. We are not made for this world and while it is completely normal to feel left out our alone we have to remember that we are made for so much better.For the girls reading this who already don’t go out but struggle with what I’ve talked about above. Keep fighting and keep sticking with your decision to live the Christian life, but don’t forget the mercy and freedom that Christ offers everyone.
For the girls reading this who do go out and hook-up with guys every now and then. There is a freedom out there that you couldn’t even imagine. I’m not promising you a life that isn’t lonely or hard but I am promising you a life that is without burden and is full of unconditional love. You don’t have to be stuck in this cycle that you are in. We can create a new dominant culture.
God gave us the commandments to free us from the slavery of sin. The greatest lies of the devil try to convince us God’s promises for us aren’t good. It’s exactly what he did with Adam and Eve in the garden and he is still trying to do it today. The world is not the final goal. We want victory over this world through blood and water to achieve the freedom that we are promises as children of God. Take consolation knowing that our God is with all of us in each moment of our sufferings and wants His glory to be revealed through it.
Let’s make a culture we want our children to live in.