I have come to fall in love with teaching in Catholic schools. What are YOU in love with?...

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything." - Pedro Arrupe

Friday, February 6, 2015

It's not about earning...

We cannot earn heaven.

Try telling that to a class of 8th graders. 

I think it surprised them quite a bit. All this time we've talked about doing good for others, going to Mass, etc., but it's not to earn God's favor.

Heaven has already been "earned"/won for us...when God sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for us on the cross. It's His gift to us - we can either accept it (by how we live our lives) or reject it. But it's already there - it's always (since Jesus) been there. Yes, it matters how we live our lives, for we can only  truly love others if we have first come to recognize and understand God's love for us, as we are mirrors of that divine love on this earth. Therefore, we accept God's gift of grace and salvation when we say YES to Him in small and big ways every day...

One student then asked, "What about all those people in the Old Testament before Jesus? Did they not get to heaven?"

I love when they're actually listening and thinking about what I'm trying to say.

I explained that, as the Church teaches, they were able to enter into heaven once the gates were opened at the Crucifixion.

1 comment:

  1. That's a perceptive kid!

    I like analogies, so I worked on a "salvation by grace through faith analogy" a few years ago. It's kind of like having Jesus pay for an open-ended ticket to (pick your favorite place/show/park/whatever). It's yours; no strings. All you have to do it use it. You can decide whether you want to head for the entrance long before (the show starts, the plane takes off, the amusement park closes) or if you'd rather stay far away, and maybe not even go. Some people get right in line and stay there, some go but leave for a while and maybe come back, and some come running up at the last possible moment. Those righteous OT people showed up before the doors opened for anyone! But they all get in. The ticket has been paid for (although it wasn't free), and it's all yours. When Jesus opens the gate/door for you, you're in.