I have been a deacon for 38 years. When I was in my mid 20’s, way before I even thought about becoming a deacon, I worked for a fairly large company. The business complex of this organization consisted of several buildings. One day I was walking between these buildings with another gentleman, a fellow employee. While we were walking and talking, he asked me a question that had absolutely nothing to do with what we were talking about. He asked me if I had been saved.
I didn’t know what he meant, or what he was talking about, so I asked him to explain. He replied by saying, “Have you accepted Jesus?”
I don’t remember how I answered his question. But I do remember thinking that his question was silly. I had been a Christian all my life. I was raised in a Catholic family. I attended a Catholic school. Wouldn’t my life history have demonstrated the answer to that question? But since then, over the years, I have come to realize that his question was a very good one.
God wants each and every one of us to accept our citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven by accepting the Gospel and by accepting Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. This is a conscious decision that each and every one of us, eventually, has to make.
At some point in our life we have to ask ourselves, do I honestly believe that God’s love for His creation was so great that He became man in order to bring salvation to every corner of the earth.
Through Jesus, every person is invited to enter into a covenant relationship with God. This may sound theoretical, but it is a fact that invites every one of us to ask some fundamental questions.
- Do I, as an individual, believe that God loves me and is always with me?
- Do I believe that this bond of love that God has for me is so strong that it can never be broken?
- Do I believe that there is nothing that Jesus cannot do for me?
If we accept the fact that the answer to each of those questions is a resounding yes, then fear will no longer have a place in our lives. Because faith is having confidence in the fact that God is constantly present in every area of our lives, even if we see no tangible evidence to support that fact. Freedom from fear and worry is the byproduct of faith.
Faith in God will not protect us from the tribulations of life. For Jesus did say, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Throughout our lives we will continue to experience various trials that could cause one to be fearful, but God assures us that we can know God’s peace through every situation, “The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”. (Philippians 4:7)
When we accept the Good News in our hearts, we are called to show its effects by the way we live our lives. Jesus commanded that we “Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34) Therefore, we are called to live our lives in faith; faith in the love of God; faith in His desire to care for us; and faith in the eternal life He offers us. This faith manifests itself in our life by a peaceful countenance and by the love we have for one another.
REVEREND MR. DONALD COX is a permanent deacon of the Archdiocese of Detroit. On June 9, 1979, Deacon Don was ordained to the diaconate by His Eminence John Cardinal Dearden, an important American Father of the Second Vatican Council. He is currently assigned to St. Cornelius parish in Dryden, Michigan. Married and the father of three children and grandfather to four children, Deacon Don was born and raised in Detroit, and educated at St. Brigid Elementary School, Mackenzie High School, and Lawrence Technological University. His theological training was taken at Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary.