Today, God speaks clearly to us. In the first reading, Elijah is discouraged, fearful and lacking a will to live. He talks to God because he doesn’t want to continue and God sends an angel to tell him to get up, eat and gain the strength to continue his journey.
My brothers and sisters, I too went through difficult trials, both physically and emotionally, in my third year as an ordained deacon. At the time, I asked God why I was led toward becoming a deacon only to struggle. When we go through hard times in our lives we are not alone. God is always there to give us the bread of life we need to continue our Mission.
In today’s world, we are the Elijah’s, the profits and disciples with a will to live. It is our time to work for God in his vineyard. Our challenges come but, we are not alone, God is with us always and forever. The second reading tells us to get rid of bitterness, fury, anger, resentment and to be kind to one another and compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven us. The Gospel reading tells us the same thing. Jesus has given himself up for us to be the spiritual food we need to continue our journey. We have to take action by coming to mass listening to his word and to fill our bodies with the spiritual food we need to continue our journey.
The Eucharist for us is the spiritual food, the fuel we need to continue our journey. We get discouraged and fearful at times but the more we come to receive him, the stronger we get in our faith. Today, with so many things happening around us, we do get discouraged. Sometimes our loved ones avoid coming to mass and missing the word of God. We ask ourselves how they will get the spiritual food they need. We stand for them when we come and we lift them up and we keep praying that one day they will want the spiritual fuel to fill the emptiness within. We have to trust the Lord will touch their hearts and ours. So we look forward to the everlasting life he’s going to give us. My brothers and sisters, may we stay strong, fearless and courageous and may God bless all of you and your families.
Deacon Ben Flores