It’s pretty incredible how our bodies react to certain stimuli. For example, what a difference rays of warm sunshine make after a couple months of cloudy cold. Out come the sweatshirts, the sandals and the ice cream! No kidding, we had ice cream cones in the first week of February because the sun finally came out. My kids all thought it was summertime and obviously mommy did too. 

We were all more excited, more joyful, and had more energy. We played pickleball in the driveway, tossed a football around in the front yard and spent time swinging on the swings. All of that happened because the sun came out!

Can you imagine what happens in our interior when met with spiritual stimuli? I was taught that you cannot spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament without being changed. Perhaps we don’t feel any different, and maybe we don’t even act terribly differently, but a part of our soul is changed forever because we have spent time in the presence of our Divine Maker. 

The difficult reality that we then face is that this change within us may not be welcome by those around us. In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells the parable of a man who leased his vineyard to tenant farmers who beat and killed his servants and eventually his beloved son. This, of course, prefigures Jesus’ own passion and death. 

Jesus did not deserve the torture and death he received. It was his consequence for doing what he was asked to do, for being a light to the world. And potentially, it could be our consequence too, as it was for St. Charles Lwanga and countless other martyrs who have gone before us. We often do not deserve the punishments life throws at us, nor do we seek them out, yet they happen nonetheless. The loss of friendships, the disdain of coworkers, or the isolation from family members… Yet we are called to march onward, ever moving forward toward our goal. 

I invite you to choose one thing today that will make an impact on your soul. Ask St. Charles Lwanga for his intercession to be bold enough that your interior change will be visible. Let your love shine even in the darkest places. Let a positive spirit ring out in a negative environment. Let truth outshine gossip. And may the Holy Spirit guide you always. 

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