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Date:         June 28, 2015.
Year:         B
The readings: [Wis. 1:13-15, 2:23-24; 2 Cor. 8:7, 9, 13-15; Mk. 5:21-43]
The message:  Eternal life in the Kingdom of God.
Prepared by:  Catholic Doors Ministry
Total words:  1401

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** The readings follow the sermon.

Good morning my brothers and sisters in Christ. I have a question for you today. How many of you have eternal life? Raise your hand those of you who believe or know that you have eterna life.

(You may wish to add your personal comment here....)

Eternal life, what is it? Some have it and do not know that they have it. Some do not have it, are searching for it, but they are rejecting the means of getting it. Blessed are those who have it and who know that they have it!

Regarding eternal life, the Holy Bible states,

"And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." [Jn.17:3]

To know God is to have a daily personal relationship with Him. Therefore, to have eternal life means to know God as He know Himself in order to be able to eternally enjoy a personal relationship with Him in His heavenly Kingdom.

Today's readings from the Holy Scriptures speak of the gift of eternal life. The First Reading from the Book of Wisdom tells us, "God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. For he created all things so that they might exist; the generative forces of the world are wholesome, and there is no destructive poison in them, and the dominion of Hades is not on earth. For righteousness is immortal." [Wis. 1:13-5]

When the Lord God created the light, the dry land, the herbs and trees, the sun and the moon, the water creatures, the winged fowl, the beasts, all what creeps on the earth and man, 'it was good.' [Gen. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31] Seven times, the words "It was good" are repeated in the First Chapter of the Book of Genesis.

Contrary to what some say, that hell is here on earth, the Holy Bible teaches us that hell is not here on earth. [Wis. 1:14] If some think that hell is here, it is because they are creating their own hell.

For those of us who live a righteous life, we have a different perception of the world. We live for the blessed hope of the life to come, the eternal life in the Kingdom of God. While we are physically present on earth, we are not of this world. Our hearts are set on Jesus, our living hope of the salvation that has been promised to those who live a life of righteousness through their living faith in Christ.

Thanks to the living sacrifice of Jesus, we have the assurance of eternal life in the Kingdom of God. The accuser of our brothers and sisters in Christ has been thrown down from Heaven, he who accuses them day and night before our God. [Rev. 12:9] "For to know (Jesus) is complete righteousness, and to know (His) power is the root of immortality." [Wis. 15:3]

God created us for incorruption and made us in His own image [Gen. 1:27; Wis. 2:23] so we may inherit His Kingdom. If the wicked inherit spiritual death, it is because they invite it upon themselves.

But man can avoid spiritual death, he being called to inherit the Kingdom of God. To do so, he has to acquire life in Christ or risk losing it for failing to reach out for God's grace. Acquiring life in Christ by the grace of God is achieved through faith in Christ and the Sacrament of Baptism when the new convert receives the promised gifts of God, the indwelling Holy Spirit, a new heart and spirit of the godly seed. [1 Jn. 3:9]

"Through the devil's envy death entered the world, and those who belong to his company experience it." [Wis. 2:24] As Jesus said to those who had an evil heart, "You are from your father the devil, and you choose to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies." [Jn. 8:44]

"No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other..." [Mt. 6:24] To have life, one must be a slave of the Lord Jesus, the eternal King of kings. To have death, one must be a slave of the prince of this world, the prince of darkness and deception.

To have eternal life in the Kingdom of God and serve the Lord Jesus, we must excel in everything, in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness and in our love towards one another. We know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor, so that by His poverty we might become rich. [2 Cor. 8:7, 9]

"Though (Jesus) was in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death - even death on a cross." [Phil. 2:6-8]

For our salvation, Jesus set aside His power so He could relate to mankind at the level of man. He did not come into this world as a glorious King surrounded by a myriad of angels. He came as a helpless infant, trusted in the care of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, in poverty, homeless, in need of tender loving care as every child that is born of the human nature. Nor did He leave this world in the full glory that He truly deserved. Instead, He was treated as a common criminal, condemned to death and crucified for having revealed the truth, that He was the Son of God. Through His death as the sacrificial Lamb of God, Jesus having taken the sins of the world upon His shoulders, we found life.

Jesus died for us so that we may share our Christian love with one another. As He gave of Himself, He asked us to give of ourselves. He asked those who have an abundance to share their wealth with those in need so that those who have little, do not have too little. With that little extra that they receive through the love of their Christian brothers and sisters, they too can live a decent life above the poverty level.

As today's Gospel Reading tells us, Jesus shared generously. Reaching out to the synagogue leader who had faith in Him, Jesus raised his twelve year old daughter. As He had done with Lazarus, Jesus gave life to the little girl that had crossed over to death. Surely, if Jesus can raise the dead from the point of no return, the power is His to raise all the living dead and to grant eternal life in the Kingdom of God to those to who He chooses to do so.

In today's Gospel Reading, we also heard how a woman was healed of twelve years of hemorrhages, simply by touching the clothes of the Lord Jesus. What faith she must have had! And her faith made her well, she being healed of her disease. The Gospel of Mark tells us that she suffered for twelve years before turning to Jesus. She had endured much under many physicians and obviously drained her of all her financial resources. Jesus was her last hope... her only hope. Nothing in the physical world could heal her... it took a miracle... a miracle of God. And the Son of God was there for her when she needed Him the most, after much suffering.

How much more are we willing to suffer before we turn to God? How much are we willing to suffer before we place our complete faith in Jesus? Having received the promise of eternal life in the Kingdom of God through the Sacrament of Baptism, are we now walking our living faith in Christ so we may qualify to inherit our salvation? Are we receiving the Sacrament of Confession on a regular basis so we may maintain our righteousness in the eyes of God? Are we receiving the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the Living Bread, so we may have the life of Christ in us?

Eternal life in the Kingdom of God is to be acquired by the grace of God through our good works by the power of the Holy Spirit in the Most Holy Name of Jesus. If we say that we have faith in Christ and we do not shine in good works, we are dead. [Jas. 2:26] Our gift of eternal life in the Kingdom of God is rooted in Jesus Christ. Through Christ, we shall inherit the Kingdom of God as worthy children of the Lord Almighty.

* * * * * * * * * *

The readings...

[The readings were taken from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible (C) 1989 Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the United States of America.]

* * * * * * * * * *

First Reading...

"God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. For he created all things so that they might exist; the generative forces of the world are wholesome, and there is no destructive poison in them, and the dominion of Hades is not on earth. For righteousness is immortal.

For God created man for incorruption, and made him in the image of his own eternity, but through the devil's envy death entered the world and those who belong to his company experience it." [Wis. 1:13-15, 2:23-24]

* * * * * * * * * *

Second Reading...

"Brothers and sisters: Now as you excel in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you - so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.

For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.

I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance.

As it is written, 'The one who had much did not have too much, and the one who had little did not have too little.'" [2 Cor. 8:7, 9, 13-15]

* * * * * * * * * *

Gospel Reading...

"When Jesus had crossed in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. Then one of the synagogue leaders named Jairus came and, when he saw Jesus, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, 'My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.' So Jesus went with him. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him.

Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, 'If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.' Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.

Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, 'Who touched my clothes?' And his disciples said to him, 'You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, 'Who touched me?''

He looked all around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. Jesus said to her, 'Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.' While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the leader's house to say, 'Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?' But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, 'Do not fear, only believe.'

Jesus allowed no one to follow him. When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. When he had entered, he said to them, 'Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.' And they laughed at him.

Then Jesus put them all outside, and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, 'Talitha cum,' which means, 'Little girl, get up!' And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about for she was twelve years of age.

At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat." [Mk. 5:21-43]

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