Recently, I was at a Marriages of Grace Cana Night, a nonprofit organization in my diocese that hosts a talk for married couples. There were couples of all ages, newlyweds, and those who have been together for a lifetime. The Bishop spoke at this event, and he shared some advice with all the spouses.
He said how important communication is, the simple and vital need to talk to one another. He shared that in his experience, he’s seen that once spouses stop talking to each other, marriages fall apart. He said that this is true in the vocation of priesthood as well; once a priest stops praying, stops talking to God, his vocation can fall apart. I believe what Bishop said that night was true, but I would add that once spouses stop praying, that is a problem too.
Why does prayer weigh so heavily on all vocations? We hear today in the First Reading from the Gospel of John that “No one who remains in Him sins.” This is where we are to live and breathe is in Christ alone; apart from Him, we cannot live as His children. John shares at the beginning of this passage by speaking to our identity as God’s children and how that truth changes us to be more Christ-like. He starts off by saying, “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.” We are not God’s children because he created us; we are God’s children because of the immense love the Father has bestowed on us.
He goes on to tell us that the world does not know because it does not know God, but because we are “God’s children now,” we shall be like him in the future. This is the hope of our Christianity, though we do not know the time or the hour, we know that when it is revealed, we shall be like him. This is the hope we must anchor our hearts to the truth that here on earth, we must live as He lived. He goes on to tell us that “everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure.” The journey of holiness requires the desire and will. The desire to make yourself pure as Christ is pure is not enough. It’s the starting point, but it requires an act of the will to choose a life of purity. He goes on to say, “Everyone who commits sin commits lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him, there is no sin. No one who remains in him sins; no one who sins has seen him or known him.” No one who remains in him sins.
When we are in intimate communion with the Lord, we will not fall into the temptation of sin. When we are apart from Him, it’s much more challenging to face temptation. When we are apart from Him for a long period of time, we may forget that we even seen Him or knew Him at all. Today, let us reflect on where we are in our relationship with Christ, our Lord, are you remaining in Him? Or do you need to come back to Him? Let us remember our true identity today that we are His children because He loves us.
Briana is the Pastoral Minister at St. Mark Church in Cleveland, OH. She is also a district manager at Arbonne. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Catechetics from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH and is excited to use these skills to serve the Church. “My soul has been refined and I can raise my head like a flower after a storm.” -St. Therese