The fertiliser of Faith is expensive … but it’s the secret to a fantastic successful life: we enter the Kingdom!
The crisis in Ukraine has suddenly made fertiliser very expensive. It has also highlighted to the uninterested, or non-farmers, how important fertiliser is, to the whole country, to ensure a large harvest: without a big harvest the whole country goes hungry.
This is a good analogy for the importance of our Faith and lived values that lead us into the Kingdom of God where everyone has enough. First of all, living our Faith is expensive. But without living those Kingdom values, our harvest of happiness will be very small.
With a small harvest of happiness, we have little to share with others and our society becomes a jungle: survival of the fittest, take what you can, when you can, and from whomever has it. Sadly, this seems to be what happens in the governing of Kenya. It begins with you.
In Kionyo Parish, the Police OCS came and addressed our “new men” during initiation: he challenged them to be like giraffes that see far ahead, and not like warthogs with their nose always on the ground. In real life, when we live our Faith with discipline, we are like a giraffe.
“Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for, or prove the existence of the realities that at present remain unseen.” St Paul had experience on both sides of the Christian call. But how do we turn Faith into success? Is it just believing like an unthinking slave? No.
Although the Gospel looks like a “mess”, with sayings from everywhere, let’s listen to Christ: “It has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom…” The Kingdom is the reward of Faith. So, the question now is: how do we enter the Kingdom? Listen to the clues Christ gives us:
- “Sell your possessions and give alms”: sharing with and caring for the people around us is an important part of our success. Government taxation does that on the macro (large) scale. But each of us must do our part at the micro (local) level. When we share our goods and our time, we make friends. Those friends will be of great assistance in future parts of our journey.
- “See that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit…”: are you ready when God sends opportunities into your life? Use time wisely to learn new skills when we can: especially when younger, because we have energy and learn faster. If people wait for things to be organised, they only reap a harvest of sadness. We must have initiative. Are we ready when clients come for service; or busy reading the newspaper, drinking tea and telling people to wait?
Christ then continues with some warnings:
- “But as for the servant who says to himself, ‘My master is taking his time coming,’ the master will cut him off”: a practical example: Someone gives you a job but you are lazy, come late or steal. You’ll lose your job and live in the gutter. Be faithful to our jobs or leave with a good conduct report. I know an employer who was secretly buying land for his faithful worker with a low salary. The Kingdom comes after hard work, not simply by desire.
- “The servant who knows what his master wants, but has not even started to carry out those wishes”: the secret in life is not by knowing/ succeeding in everything, but by trying. Students who try & fail get helped for next time. The student who cheats does not, and gets punished. A boss might be frustrated by a failure but gives the worker, who tries, a second chance.
- “When a man has had a great deal given him, a great deal will be demanded of him”: great responsibility can lead to great satisfaction in life and often personal comforts; but it requires more sacrifice than the average person: the university students who cheat destroy their future, and destroy others, by bad decisions even though they have a certificate; politicians who don’t do what they promise, will be kicked out; the husband or wife who is lazy, or cheats on the family, will be kicked out: and they will suffer a lot, caused by their themselves.
Entering the Kingdom requires sacrifices and honesty: in another way, we can say that success in life comes from positive relationships, discipline and honesty in trying to work hard.
Positive relationships are built up through our frequent presence and a generous spirit: willing to give without expecting something in return, apart from the good company.
Our young people have a big challenge with sexual temptations. Why should we listen to the Church teachings? Why listen to God’s morals? If it feels good, why not do it? If it’s natural, why can’t we do it?
The answer is (1) timing; and (2) using our sexuality for a higher purpose than selfish pleasure. I understand it’s not easy to wait, made more difficult when we feel unloved/ lonely.
But remember: nothing good/ beautiful comes without sacrifice and impulse control. Find friends who believe the same way to assist with discipline: be part of the Church youth group.
The fertiliser of faith is expensive, but it’s the secret to a fantastic life: we enter the Kingdom!
By Gerard Conlan, OMI