While the world sometimes tells us we aren't worth anything, Sacred Scripture reminds us we are worth more than everything! Growing up a Catholic altar boy, my dad used to tell me I was worthless like 'tits on a bull.' Jesus tells me otherwise. Yet, like so many other truly 'human' beings, I struggle to decide which one to believe.
The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them...As gold in the furnace, he proved them..." Wisdom 3:1-9
For those who don't believe in purgatory after this life, you have to, at least, consider the purgatory we experience here on earth in our 'family and friends and fellow parishioners.' The word of God in Sacred Scripture, along with the words of the Mass, and the rituals of the Sacraments, consistently--unless altered by a progressive--speak to us of our eternal worth in the eyes of God. And that is good considering the unworthiness that we quite often feel under the judgmental eyes of our peers.
"You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes..." Psalm 23:1-6
The Eucharist is God's Love for us in tangible means...even when the Body and Blood is given to us by our enemy! God commands us to love, and pray for, our enemies, so I suppose the Mass is the perfect place to be as a wounded human person. After all, we are participating in the perpetuation of His Crucifixion, the very same crucifixion that we caused by our sin. In the end, only Mercy overcomes animosity.
"Indeed, if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by his life." Romans 5:5-11
But those who deny Purgatory seem to think that, like Mary, this is another Catholic obstacle to heaven. And so wrong they are. To believe that faith in Jesus magically makes us perfect is to disrespect the suffering Jesus endured for our salvation. Though divine, Jesus' humanity was perfected in the obedience which endured the Cross. Likewise, our suffering, accepted obediently in faith and hope, changes us into the saint who truly knows what love really is. Heaven, where God alone is Holy, can only be inhabited by holy people. Not deluded ones.
"For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.” John 6:37-40
So, if I were a betting man, and a faith-filled one at that, though with a faith the size of a micro-mustard seed, I would put my hope in Jesus' words--over the mean and disrespectful words of 'family, friends and fellow parishioners.' Through His Word, His Eucharistic Word, we should all crush the fallacies about ourselves and those easily disparaged--a little compassion for souls on all souls day--and start taking Jesus at His Word!
He thinks we are special! And so should we.