Monday, February 17, 2020

“All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.”


“A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.” ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Gospel Text: (MK 8:11-13)
The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus,
seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.
He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said,
“Why does this generation seek a sign?
Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”
Then he left them, got into the boat again,
and went off to the other shore.

Reflect, today, upon the “Pharisees” in your life.  Perhaps you do not encounter those who are proud or haughty, or maybe you do.  The Pharisees in your life are those who reject the free gift of love you try to offer.  They are those who are so hurt, confused or bitter that they find it very hard to let love in.  They throw up every sort of defense there is to avoid letting your love in.  And when you see this rejection, it hurts.  It may then tempt you to have anger or condemnation.

But how should you react?  You should do as Jesus did!  You should sigh, and “sigh deeply.”  You should feel the hurt of their rejection and feel holy sorrow for them.  At times, you may need to confront them as Jesus did.  But never out of your wounded pride.  You should confront only because you judge that it’s the best way to win them over.  You will know that this is an act of love when you feel that deep sigh within your spirit.



Thursday, February 13, 2020

"Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right."


Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues: hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance. - Saint Augustine of Hippo (354 – 430 AD: was a Roman African, early Christian theologian, & doctor of the Church)

Gospel text: (MK 7:24-30)
Jesus went to the district of Tyre.
He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it,
but he could not escape notice.
Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him.
She came and fell at his feet.
The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth,
and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter.
He said to her, “Let the children be fed first.
For it is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She replied and said to him,
“Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.”
Then he said to her, “For saying this, you may go.
The demon has gone out of your daughter.”
When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed
and the demon gone.

Reflect, today, upon the beautiful faith of this humble woman.  Try to put yourself in her shoes and hear Jesus speak these same words to you.  How would you respond?  Would you respond with anger or agitation?  Would your pride be wounded?  Or would you respond with an even deeper humility, acknowledging the fact that all God gives is a gift which we have no right to receive.  Responding this way is most likely the act of faith God is waiting for from each of us and is the key to that outpouring of His mercy we so need.


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Clean Hands and a Pure Heart


Keep your heart pure. A pure heart is necessary to see God in each other. If you see God in each other, there is love for each other, then there is peace. - Mother Teresa: (1910 – 1997: Founded the Missionaries of Charity

Gospel Text: (MK 7:14-23)
Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them,
“Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person;
but the things that come out from within are what defile.”
When he got home away from the crowd
his disciples questioned him about the parable.
He said to them,
“Are even you likewise without understanding?
Do you not realize that everything
that goes into a person from outside cannot defile,
since it enters not the heart but the stomach
and passes out into the latrine?”
(Thus he declared all foods clean.)
“But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him.
From within the man, from his heart,
come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit,
licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile.”

Reflect, today, upon that which is inside your heart.  This introspection should also challenge you to look at your motivations.  Why do you do what you do and why do you make the decisions you make?  Are they choices that come from an honest and sincere heart?  Or are they choices that are based more on how you will be perceived?  Hopefully your motives are pure.  And hopefully those pure motives come from a heart that is deeply united to the heart of Christ.
-->

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

We often use "compassion" as an equivalent for moral relativism.


No culture in history has ever embraced moral relativism and survived. Our own culture, therefore, will either (1) be the first, and disprove history's clearest lesson, or (2) persist in its relativism and die, or (3) repent of its relativism and live. There is no other option. -  Peter Kreeft: (born 1937) is a professor of philosophy at Boston College

 Gospel Text: (MK 7:1-13)
When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem
gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals
with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
(For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews,
do not eat without carefully washing their hands,
keeping the tradition of the elders.
And on coming from the marketplace
they do not eat without purifying themselves.
And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed,
the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.)
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him,
“Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders
but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”
He responded,
“Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites,
as it is written:
This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
In vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines human precepts.
You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”
He went on to say,
“How well you have set aside the commandment of God
in order to uphold your tradition!
For Moses said,
Honor your father and your mother,
and Whoever curses father or mother shall die.
Yet you say,
‘If someone says to father or mother,
“Any support you might have had from me is qorban”’
(meaning, dedicated to God),
you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother.
You nullify the word of God
in favor of your tradition that you have handed on.
And you do many such things.”

Reflect, today, upon whether or not you are willing to humbly embrace all of the truths that God has revealed and whether you are willing to make them the foundation of your life.  If you do this, all else will flow forth in love and worship.