Sun, 21 April 2019
Palm Sunday Homily.
Where do we get our spiritual strength? What is the source? Is our spiritual health fragile and dependent on the circumstances, or is it robust?
The default setting is for our calm to be defined by the state of our ego; our pride.
This really is a litmus test for our spiritual maturity: how do we respond to insults and a lack of appreciation; and how do we respond to praise.
If deepest state of being is offset by these things, then we have work to do.
The easy way: surround ourselves with the right kind of people! (safe places?)
A bit harder: mental games. Learn to write off or ignore criticism and look for positive things to cling to. This can include using theological ideas: “If God be for me, then who can be against me”; “I am a child of God; it's not my fault if these sinners don't see that.” Also games for praise. Another way is to just check out - lots of ways to protect our ego.
But learning to hear criticism and praise objectively (and not through the needs of our ego) is necessary for our improvement!
God wants to have joy, and to have that joy in abundance; irrespective of our situation.
The God-man Jesus Christ demonstrated this in the events we are now celebrating:
In neither case was He altered by them. His emotions were affected, but His sense of self and His sense of purpose was unchanged. Because He was never separated Himself from the Light and Truth that are themselves unchanging.
AND THAT IS THE ANSWER FOR US TO. To have Christ in us and us in Him; because no matter how much we work on them and no matter how we change our environment to make it easier for us to be content and happy, there is one even that our ego's can NEVER be strong enough to overcome...
Death. It faces us all. It faced Jesus. But He overcame it and through Him we can overcome it, too.
But only if we rely on Him and not our egos. And we can test how we are doing by looking at how our joy is affected by criticism and praise.
May God give us the courage to live in Him and Him in us so that we may overcome death and sin.