Christ Reminds us of Who We Are

“Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Often when I read verses like this one from Today’s Gospel, I become discouraged and feel disheartened. In today’s world, with all its tribulations, we have to cry out to God for the strength to persevere. Like the beggar who pounds his breasts in the temple, we cry for the grace to avoid sin and attain virtue.

The reason this saddens my heart is that God did not ever desire this for us. There was a time when virtue was what we wanted when love was our first thought in relation to others when praise of the Lord just made sense and didn’t take effort. As sad as it is that we now have to cry out, could you imagine if we didn’t have a savior who has allowed us to beg for the grace we lost?

Think about it, in the garden Adam and Eve were human beings par excellence. They were who all of us long to be. They just had the grace from God, they didn’t need to beg on bended knee. Then the fall happened and changed the entire world and the whole human race. We lost our inheritance, but God became man so that we could ask for it back and through his power we receive it.

“But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.”

Scripture speaks of signs that will happen letting us know our redemption is at hand. The first sign of our coming redemption is the birth of Christ. This is what we celebrate at Christmas, that God loves us enough to give us another shot. Not to go back to the beginning, but to go through our beginning state and beyond. Enjoying abounding grace, unconditional love, and perfect hope.

I often think of this verse when Christmas approaches, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Now, this may seem like an unrelated verse to Christmas. It just feels like a verse of condemnation and impossible standards. But the reality is that for Christ to hold us to such a high standard, he has to redeem us to the level where we can attain the standard. 

This verse is not so much a condemnation, but a calling. A calling to accept the grace Christ wants to give, grace that gives us the strength to live and to love how God calls us. God became a man to redeem us of course, but he also became a man to remind us of who we are and how we are created. We have forgotten our worth, God taking on a body and becoming human reminds us of it. That should give us great joy. Happy Advent and from all of us here at Diocesan, God Bless!

Tommy Shultz is a Solutions Evangelist for Diocesan. In that role, he is committed to coaching parishes and dioceses on authentic and effective Catholic communication. Tommy has a heart and a flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. His mission and drive have been especially inspired by St. John Paul II’s teachings. Tommy is blessed to be able to learn from the numerous parishes he visits and pass that experience on in his presentations. Contact him at