The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

1st Week of Lent

Date: 
Mon, 03/06/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

We are given the opportunity, on this first Monday in Lent, to travel through time.
We are whisked forward, into the future, to the day of final judgment.
We see and hear the Lord passing sentence on the nations of the world.
His judgment is not arbitrary.
His exercise of divine power is not tyrannical or whimsical or unpredictable.
His judgment is just and righteous and consistent with revelation.
 
There is no testimony taken or given.
Those standing in judgment are not asked to speak on their own behalf,
to defend themselves, to explain their choices, to plead their cause,
to verbally give an account of their living.
And at this point there are no second chances.
The time for reform, to reverse direction, to take another path is not offered.
Any notion we may hold, where God sends us back into the world to fix things, is pure fantasy.
And the judge will not be swayed by charm or tears or sincerity or threat or promise or bribe.
 
It’s do or die.  Or more to the truth of the matter…it’s did or die.
 
If we have ever wondered, we need not wonder any longer.
Essential requirements for entering into heaven are clearly stated:
- providing food for the hungry.
- providing drink for the thirsty.
- welcoming the stranger.
- clothing the naked.
- caring for the ill.
- visiting the imprisoned.
 
Regardless of how many times we have received Eucharist,
or how many words we have spoken in prayer,
or how many times we’ve gone to confession….
regardless of how much knowledge we have,
or how many scripture quotes we have memorized,
or how much money we’ve given to charitable causes,
or how many miracles we have witnessed,
or how many holy people we know,
or how sympathetic we feel toward the suffering of others…
if we don’t act toward others with loving kindness,
if we don’t take the time ourselves, in person, to reach out in genuine concern,
if we never sacrifice our time, our resources, our rights, our privileges…
so as to do the things that Jesus did instead of doing what we want  ….then we are goats.
 
The greatest obstacle with regards to fulfilling these essential entrance requirements
is excessive, obsessive focus on our self:  our selfish ambitions, our narrow selfish interests,
our self-centered existence, our self-seeking pursuits….promoting ‘my’ reputation, ‘my’ influence,
‘my’ legacy,  ‘my’ authority, ‘my’ power, ‘my’ accomplishments, ‘my’ appearance and looks,
‘my’ abilities, ‘my’ agenda.
 
Another way to put this….if our Lenten practices do not foster loving kindness for others,
then we are wasting our time.
Lent isn’t a time to improve ourselves. 
It is a time to forget ourselves and improve our relationships with God and neighbor.
 
Our prayer today: “O Lord, save me from my self.  Amen!”