By R.P. Postinus Gulö, OSC
Two days ago, we had a discussion as regard atheists who have no religious affiliations and feel no need of belonging to any religious group and who do not belief in God. For these sets of persons God is not necessary, but far from this erroneous idea of theirs. Because we know that God is necessary.
However, there are some Catholics who belief in their minds but through their actions, they do not only criticize the Church but also stand up in heretic ways (cf. can. 751 CIC 1983).
During this discussion, two questions came to my mind. The first: do I really feel the need of God or is God necessary in my life? The second is, ‘how do I help myself to understand the truth about God that is not based on my own relative view but a view that is objective? This is what Pope St. John Paul II discussed in his encyclical letter ‘Fides et Ratio’ i.e. ‘Faith and Reason’. With a favorable answer to these questions, I will then be better equipped to facilitate and lead others to the belief of God.
In the second reading of today, I find the answer to the above questions: we should constantly examine our consciences. In the words of a philosopher Socrates who said: “The un-examined life is not worth living”. So, brothers and sisters, the imperative question is: “I am in the flesh or is the spirit of God in me? I am walking in my ways or in God’s way? Do I obey God or satisfy my inclinations? If only the spirit of God dwells in us, we belong to God.
Therefore, Paul teaches us that we should, in fact, “see the time go by”: from life in the flesh to life in the spirit, from the ways of the world to the ways of God.
On against this background therefore, Paul invites us to consecrate ourselves to the truth. We are called to receive the truth, and not to reject it. We are called to the light of goodness, not to the darkness of evil.
In Gospel of today, we see the relevance the presence of Jesus in our lives. As Martha says to the Lord: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” And the fruit of Martha faith is Lazarus – her brother – rose again from the death.
A very important lesson today is that we must examine our consciences daily. We should refrain from judging others such as atheists or heretics, but rather let us utilize our time to walk in God’s way. Also, we should try to increase our faith as Martha did.
Perhaps in that way, our brothers and sisters are walking in God’s ways when they see that we are true witnesses, just as Pope Blessed Paul VI says in his ‘Evangelium Nuntiadi’: ‘that modern man is tired of listening to teachers and even if he listens is because they are witnesses’ (EN 41). Thus, we will be able to lead other people such as heretics and atheists to the acceptance of God and even the teachings of the Church.
God wants us to see things afresh, not in our usual ways but rather in His renewing ways. Amen.