One day I was invited to a dinner, but we were asked to pay for our cocktail drinks. While I was getting mine, I ran into a friend and offered to pay for his drinks too. But he would not have it that way and insisted on paying for his drink himself.

That situation struck me because, indeed, so many of us want to be self-sufficient. We don’t like to be subsidized. We don’t like to be beneficiaries. Unfortunately, this distaste for being beneficiaries, this refusal to have some of our needs paid for by somebody else, could also be extended to God

This is why in our faith, in our religion, we can be so obsessed with achievement, with doing good works, with doing spiritual exercises. So much so that, sometimes, we think we are saved not only by the grace of God, but by the good works we pride ourselves in having accomplished. St. Paul to the Romans is very clear: “We are saved not by ourselves, but by the grace of Jesus Christ.” No amount of good works that we do will qualify us for heaven.

At this time, I want you to ask yourself why you are here. Do you go to Mass because you want to go to heaven? Do you go to Mass because you want to prove to God you are good? My dear brothers and sisters, you don’t have to prove anything to God, because Christ died when we were yet sinners. Christ died, not when we were friends. Christ died, not when were good. Christ died for us when we were the worst.

We don’t have to prove anything to God. You are here because you are responding to the first love that God has given us. We are here not to prove ourselves holy, otherwise this Mass would simply be a massage to our ego. We are here to answer God’s invitation. We are here only as a response to the good God,

Rom 5:20

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