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2018-03-30 Homily. Fr. François Beyrouti. "Jesus and our 100%"

Jesus and our 100%. Father François Beyrouti. Homily. March 30, 2018.
Holy and Great Friday.

Apparently, 86.54 percent of statistics are made up.

On the other hand, some statistics are real, but not very helpful. One statistic points out that hospitals are the most dangerous places on earth because that is where most deaths take place.

Furthermore, some statistics are real but inescapable, such as the statistic that 100% of people who were born end up dying. This is an absolutely terrible and depressing statistic, especially if you’re still alive.

There are, however, some positive statistics out there. For example, it has been proven in repeated studies that the more birthdays you have the longer you will live.

Despite these positive and negative statistics about life and death, Jesus offers us a statistic that is always 100% accurate. He said: “I came that you may have life, and have it abundantly” (cf. John 10:10).
This applies to 100% of everyone who has ever been born and everyone who will ever be born. This is one statistic that is not made up, exaggerated, or useless.

But, how are we to have this life that Jesus promised us? Our spiritual life should never be a mystery because Jesus offered us clarity. He came that we may have life and He clearly told us how to get that life when he said: “For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25. See also Luke 9:24, Mark 8:35).

Unfortunately, we have heard this so many times that we become immune of the great significance of this message and how it relates to our day to day life.

Giving our life to Jesus seems too radical, but many people lose their life to things that are useless.

Some lose their life to gambling and find they are broke and in debt, some lose their life to sports and find they are being thrown from one end zone to another or just bouncing around, and some lose their life to chasing wealth and find that even the greatest wealth is poverty if there isn’t a deeper meaning to life.

Jesus, however asks us to lose our life by giving Him our life because He conquered death.

We do this in three specific ways. First, look at the cross, believe in your heart, and say in a loud voice: “Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for me.” Do this today and do it often.

Second, after we do this, it is important to invite Jesus to be the master of our life. He conquered sin and death by dying and rising but he does not want to conquer us, He wants us to open the door of our lives and allow him to be the master of our life.

There is a famous picture of Jesus knocking at a door. One thing that is noticeable is that there is no handle on Jesus’s side of the door.
This reminds us that the handle is always on our side. He knocks and waits for us to open the door.

After accepting that Jesus died and rose for me, and after inviting Jesus to be the master of my life, the third step is to live like we really mean it. The fruits of our faith need to be visible. If we spend months planting but can’t show the fruit of our labor then we worked in vain. After we work hard on a garden we look for fruit that is visible, colorful, and tasty, so too the fruit of our faith has to be even more visible, colorful, and pleasant for all to experience.

Furthermore, Saint James said “So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead” (James 2:17). Our faith starts as an inner conviction and then is expressed externally.

The life of St. Maximilian Kolbe shows this in a beautiful way. When he was in Auschwitz, one prisoner escaped and the soldiers got ready to kill ten in his place. One of the men that was lined up to be executed, named Francis, pleaded to not be killed because he was married and had a young son. Saint Maximilian Kolbe said “I am a Catholic priest and I want to die for that man. Choose me instead.”

Sometimes we think our crosses are too heavy. There is a story who complained to God that he couldn’t carry his daily cross. God told him to put his cross in a room with other crosses then come back in a week. When he returned God told him to pick any cross he wanted. The man searched and found the smallest one in the room. God told him “that was the exact cross you put in the room.” This shows us that sometimes we feel our trials are too heavy to carry, but in reality many have even greater burdens than us.

The cross is a gift and a blessing 100% of the time for 100% of us.

Jesus tells us: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

When we come to Him, He gives us the rest he promised us.

Jesus gave us His 100%.

He wants us to give him our 100%.

He wants us to give life our 100%.

He wants us to give others our 100%.

How often we do this is a statistic whose results have not yet been completed.

Father François Beyrouti
Holy Cross Melkite Catholic Church
451 West Madison Avenue
Placentia, CA 92870-4537
Office: (714) 985-1710
My cell: (714) 914-1710
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