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Open the Doors

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May. 20, 2014

Most of us have encountered people who proclaim to have faith in Christ, yet refuse to struggle to live a life satisfying to God.  I think this challenge is something everyone faces at some point.  One of the saddest reasons people don’t try to live their faith is because they feel they are unlovable or unworthy.

This sentiment is wrong for several reasons.  First, love is freely given.  The idea that you have to prove yourself worthy of God’s love is laughable.  No one is perfect.  Even the holiest men and women struggle to be holy.  A huge weight is lifted off a person’s shoulders once he or she grasps the nature of love and being loved.  God loves you just as you are, even if he wants you to repent from your sins.

Second, Christ is the good shepherd.  In the Gospel of John, Christ says, “I am the good shepherd.  A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” In the Gospel of Luke, Christ asks us to suppose that one of us has one hundred sheep.  If even one sheep became lost, you, as the shepherd, would leave the ninety-nine to find the one that lost its way.  “And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.”  Know that whether you are significantly off the straight and narrow path or just having a bad day, God is searching for you.  He wants your heart.  Saint John Paul II said:

“He [Christ] is constantly searching for every stray sheep, to lead it back to the sheepfold, to bind up its wounds; he tends the sheep that are weak and sickly and protects those that are strong.  This is why, from the very first day, I have never ceased to urge people: ‘Do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power!’  Today, I forcefully repeat: ‘Open, indeed, open wide the doors to Christ!  Let him guide you!  Trust in his love!’”

Lastly, Jesus is the Good Physician who can cure anyone of any struggle.  In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house.  Many tax collectors and sinners were present at the dinner table.  At the time, tax collectors were seen as the lowest of the lowly.  The Pharisees saw Jesus and couldn’t understand why anyone would eat with such shameful people.  “On hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’”

If you are struggling to grasp that even you, with all your imperfections and failures, are lovable, don’t worry too much about it.  It might not be something that can be entirely grasped.  Just understand that God does love you despite your shortcomings.  Stay positive and focus on what we do know about God’s love for us.  He came not only to give us eternal life, but also to provide us with peace and fulfillment.  He came to save us from our sins in this life as well as the next.  Be happy, be at peace, and know God loves you unconditionally!

About the Author

Jeremiah Doyle is a freelance writer for Newman Connection.