How can God love so much and yet allow a person to be judged? Every human person, even if they profess to be atheist or agnostic, searches for Truth and longs to encounter God in a personal and engaging way.
We experience the person of Jesus, in prayer, fasting and in almsgiving. We encounter God in His Son, sacrificed here on our Altar. It is here we find peace in our search for Truth; in this Way we gain eternal Life.
But there are those, even Catholics who reject the possibility of finding God here. They reject the idea of formal religion and cling to personal self-awareness as a means to happiness and fulfillment.
This rejection of God and of His Church is a person’s judgment. It is not God Who judges but rather the person who has condemned himself. Man cannot love himself alone. He must accept God’s love for him as a vital part of his existence.
A student of Socrates once said to him, “I hate you for every time I meet you, you let me see what I am.” (p 131, Barclay) This physical sanctuary, this physical parish gathered, challenges even the most determined atheist. For some, our very presence is a threat to the persons they pretend to be.
These people have alienated themselves from God and have chosen darkness over light. In their shadows they will become lost, they will not find the truth they seek, or the life that will bring them hope or joy.
But, we can witness to our own encounter with God here in our gathering. In our consumption of the sacrifice we offer, and in our acceptance of the light of Christ that makes us a people of eternal hope. Paul proclaims it: ‘God is rich in mercy. He has great love for us.’
My dear friends, our lives in communion are a light in the world! Do not be afraid to let this light shine for the lost to see. Do not be afraid to be hospitable in welcoming those who have made themselves homeless. Open your hearts and demonstrate that the light you possess is for them a Way to see the Truth and the Life of God.