As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.” He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”
How often are we in the position of the man? We try our best to be “good” and to do the “right” thing and we expect good things to come to us easily in return. If there is anything Jesus has taught us, it is that love is sacrifice. When the man is told He has to sell his possessions and give them to the poor, his face falls and he walks away sad. Think about what is happening here. “Jesus, looking at him, loved Him” then He tells the man what he must do. Jesus loved the man yet notice He doesn’t tell him what he wants to hear, or what is easy for him to hear, or what the cultural norm is, Jesus lovingly tells the man the truth.
Whether you like it or not, whether you agree with it or not, and whether you believe in it or not, the Catholic church teaching on gay marriage/intimate relationships, is that it is immoral. There is nothing sinful about feeling homosexual, but acting upon those feelings and/or thoughts is where sin comes in. (Just like same-sex pre-marital relations and inappropriate sexual thoughts are considered sinful.) I have several family members and a few friends who identify themselves as homosexuals and transgender. When people have asked me my beliefs and opinions on the matter, I have always been very honest with what I believe. Even so, when people hear that I am not a supporter of same-sex marriage, they are outraged. They call me homophobic and bigoted. For people who wave a colorful flag and claim to celebrate tolerance and acceptance, they sure do not accept me for my beliefs as a Christian. Even many denominations of Christians, and people who claim to be Catholic yet have grievance with nearly every official church teaching think kI am this unaccepting, unloving, anti-gay, homophobic moron who needs to get with the times.
Sure, I could go along with what society believes to appease people and spare myself from the ridicule and hateful name-calling I receive, but the reality is, I love people. All people. (Some days this can be easier than others especially when my family gets on my nerves :P) Seriously though, if I were to neglect my beliefs and let everyone around me who is participating in activities contrary to church teachings think I am okay with it, how would I be loving them?? If I’m hanging out with my 12 year old brother and I find out he just ate 3 donuts, I’m not going to let him eat another, even if he thinks it will make him happy, even if he chooses to. I am going to limit him, why? Because I care about him. My dogs would love to run around the neighborhood all day but instead we give them limits with the invisible fence, because we love them and wouldn’t want a stranger picking them up or witnessing them get hit by a car. Why do we have speed limits on our streets? Is it because the government wants us to get to our destinations slower than we want to? No. It is to protect us and keep us safe. The restrictions that we fight so hard to avoid are the same things that protect us and make our lives better.
This is precisely Jesus’ message. There are many things we are going to be asked to sacrifice in this life. All of usare called daily to flee from our sinful desires and aspects of our lives that are any less than great, moral, and righteous. What are you being called to flee from? A toxic relationship? An unhealthy friendship? An undesirable job? An addiction? A bad habit? Now eliminate that thing. Right now.
You may be thinking to yourself, “that’s impossible!” And you’re right, for you, it is, “but not for God. All things are possible for God.” Ask Him to move in your life. Trust that He will eliminate sins that are corrupting your soul. Allow Him to free you from clinging to the things of this world. Don’t forget to thank Him when He does free you from those sins because He definitely will.