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Pastor's Column

Afraid of the Wrong Things?

Pastor’s Column

12th Sunday Ordinary Time

June 25, 2023

Photo by Ron Lach

It can seem as if there is so much to fear in our modern lives. It would not be hard to come up with a list, such as the threat of global war, rising prices, loss of a job, or health issues, to name only a few. Jesus teaches us (Matthew 10:26-33) that we are not even to fear if someone is trying to kill, slander or calumniate us, since a time will come when those who do such things will be completely exposed!

Actually, most of us tend to fear the wrong things. You could come up with your own laundry list of personal fears, but Jesus tells us clearly that the crucial thing is to fear sin, especially mortal sin, which is deadly to our eternal soul. How many of us fear offending God, who can “destroy both body and soul in Gehenna”? These words are intended to shock us, and they do shock us. Hell is as real as heaven is; you can’t have one without the other, or we are not really free beings who have real eternal options. This is why our daily choice for God, in the decisions you and I make every day are so very critical, because on the last day, Our Lord will grant us the choice we have made. Hopefully we will desire to move in with him (which is heaven), but if we live in habitual deadly sin, heaven will not seem like a good option for us.

These days, many Catholics have convinced themselves that hell does not exist, but that certainly is not what Jesus taught. Jesus speaks of hell as much or more so than he does heaven. Our eternity actually begins now, today. How I live is a good indicator of the state of my soul.

Every hair of our heads has been counted, Jesus taught, and since we are eternal beings in a temporal world, we should take our spiritual journey seriously. He loves us and will do anything to save us, but if we habitually choose deadly mortal sin in our lives and do not confess and repent of it, we risk losing God forever.

Sin is like living in a dark cave. The more we sin, the darker the cave gets. Repentance brings us back out into the light. When a soul that is plunged into the darkness of mortal sin dies, it comes before God and heaven, which are all light. Such souls are so uncomfortable at having the ugliness of their sins exposed by this light, that they prefer the darkness. This is why some will choose hell on the last day, and why the decisions you and I make each day are so critically important.

Father Gary


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