Psalm 15: 2-5
He who walks blamelessly, and does what is right, and speaks truth from his heart; who does not slander with his tongue, and does no evil to his friend, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbour; in whose eyes a reprobate is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; who swears to his own hurt and does not change; who does not put out his money at interest, and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.
The top priority for anyone serving in a music ministry is to pray the lyrics and mean it. Yes, musicality and proficiency are important, but first, we have to live a life of praise and worship. It has to be a 24-hr lifestyle.
When I first began serving, I struggled with some songs because I didn’t live it. For example, how could I sing “Lord, I give you my heart, I give you my soul. I live for you alone…” if I didn’t give Jesus my all, and other things in life held priority over living for Jesus?
In my struggle to live a life aligned in truth, the Holy Spirit urged me to examine my thoughts, words, motivations, actions and intentions. Then I began to see the errors in my ways. Conviction is a bitter pill but I had to change, and I had to let God change me. With God’s grace, I was moulded by His Word. As I kept striving to live in truth, God was my coach, Jesus was my captain and the Holy Spirit was my motivator.
Is it possible to walk blamelessly as Psalm 15 says?
Though difficult, it is possible. Today’s Gospel (Matthew 7: 13-14) asks us to “enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Let us turn to Mary and all the Saints, as examples for us to follow. They’ve found and entered by the narrow gate! A theological reflection by Harry Dudley on USSCB.org describes our journey of faith, and that our choices have consequences.
Will your choices today be made in truth, aligned to God’s commandments?
Dudley reflects on the ‘Narrow Gate’ passage which ends the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:13-28):
“Jesus presents us with a series of contrasts, comparing two kinds of life within the community of his disciples: those who obey the words of Jesus and thus please God the Father and those who do not.
Disciples who obey the words of Jesus allow his life to shape the whole of their existence according to their faith in Jesus Christ. As the United States National Directory for Catechesis (2005, no. 42) says, “Christian moral formation . . . involves confession of faith in him, adherence to his person and his teaching, following in his footsteps, taking on his attitudes, and surrendering the old self in order to take up the new self in Christ.” Why we may ask? Because “Christ is the norm of morality. ‘Christian morality consists . . . in following Jesus Christ, in abandoning oneself to him, in letting oneself be transformed by his grace and renewed by his mercy, gifts which come to us in the living communion of his Church”.
Disciples who do not follow the words of Jesus, by not relating them to their everyday life and decisions, are like the poor sheep who are led astray by other voices besides Jesus’.”
In an address to the crowd in 2013, the Holy Father, Pope Francis said:
“Don’t be afraid: He’s waiting for you. Be lively, have the courage to enter through His gate. All are invited to pass through this gate, to pass through the gate of faith, to enter into His life, and to allow Him to enter into our life, because He transforms it, renews it, the gifts of full and lasting joy.” [Read the full transcript here]
Do my decisions / actions / thoughts reflect Christ?
Activity: Divide a sheet of paper into 2 columns. On the left, list words that describe your actions, words and thoughts. On the right, list words that describe a life of holiness. Draw a line to match a word on the left column to a similar or opposite word on the right column. Choose one that you want to work on, and pray for God’s guidance and grace to live a life that is true and holy.
Am I a key to the gate (that is Christ) by being a living witness? Or do I keep Christ to myself by not sharing with those who seek Him?