Friday, September 6, 2019 at 10:40 AM
"We Stand with Christ" campaign continues. If you have not received your packet in the mail, please stop in the Parish Office and pick up. Parish Cook Out Sept. 6 - rain or shine School Gym: 5 to 9pm

03/03/19 Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Fr. Reggie

Today’s readings remind us that if we truly want to recognize, do, and praise the good that we and others do we need Our Lord’s help and the wisdom to not judge a book by its cover.

In today’s First Reading Sirach teaches us that the true worth of anyone, including ourselves, is when a trial by fire shakes us up and makes us show who we indeed are and how we live. He focuses on a person’s words being the accurate measurement of their faults or virtue. Appearances are not enough. He gives three examples of a process for evaluating the worth of a “fruit.” With the sieve, you sift out the undesirable, which remains in the sieve and lets the desirable pass through. With the firing of pottery, it adopts its definitive form and strength, or its definitive deformation and flaws. With cultivating a fruit tree, it’s easy to see whether you’re successful or not: good and abundant fruit or a withered tree with little to no fruit. In all three of these processes, it is the result that matters. The process doesn’t automatically produce a good outcome, just like we or others aren’t automatically good or evil.

In today’s Second Reading Paul reminds us that it is thanks to Our Lord that this process of telling good from evil, even among the well-intentioned, is not in vain. Our corruptibility and mortality due to Original Sin would lead to spiritual as well as physical death if left to their own devices. Original Sin disfigured us but also disfigured our view of good and evil. We need help to correct it. Paul encourages us to see that Our Lord will clothe that corruptibility with incorruptibility: the grace that transforms us and heals us from the wounds of Original Sin, although we still are subjected to weakness and temptation in this life, in eternity we will be purified of it, once and for all. Our Lord clothes our mortality with immortality by sowing the seed of eternal life in us from the moment we believe and are baptized. His victory over death swallowed it up for himself and us. If we persevere in Christ, we will share in his victory over sin and death. 

Our Lord in today’s Gospel reminds us that we must try to see and live clearly before helping others, or it will be a case of the blind leading the blind. He also warns us that being a “bad boy,” despite how culture today paints it, is never a good thing. If a blind man were to offer to help you cross the street, you would either charitably decline, think he was crazy, or maybe convince yourself he had superpowers.  We live in a society where people seek the virtuous thing to do, the logical thing to do, or the craziest thing to do, and are willing to get advice from or give advice to anyone. We have to invest time, prayer, and reflection to determine the solid foundation on which to live and to be guided.  We can’t just invent this on our own: we need help from Our Lord, and we need help from dependable people and solid traditions. If someone recognizes something to be evil, they avoid it; that is Ethics 101. That is why evil often tries to masquerade as good, to appear glamorous.  Our Lord teaches us not to judge people, but he does teach us to judge actions: evil people do evil things, just as good people do good things. 

A sieve is defined in the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 11thedition as “a device with meshes or perforations through which finer particles of a mixture (as of ashes, flour, or sand) of various sizes may be passed to separate them from coarser ones, through which the liquid may be drained from liquid-containing material, or through which soft materials may be forced for reduction to fine particles.” A sieve separates the desirable from the undesirable or makes what passes through it more refined. In today’s First Reading Sirach invites us to be the “sieve” of our words as well as the words of others. There must be something to sift in the first place, and in seeing the unrefined and undesired accumulating we form a picture of wisdom and folly.

Sirach this week teaches us to sift the words of others and separate the good from the evil this week, but Our Lord teaches us that we should start by “sifting” our own words: the wooden beam in your eye impairs your vision in telling good from evil. St. Paul in his Letter to the Ephesians teaches us: “No foul language should come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for needed edification, that it may impart grace to those who hear” (4:29). Some people set up a “Swear Jar” and place some money in it whenever they use foul language, but this process is deeper. You can say uncharitable and unedifying things with perfect diction and “clean” language. Set up a jar or keep track on a paper or app this week of how many times each day you said something unedifying. Once a day take stock of how edifying/unedifying your words were that day. At the end of the week, say a prayer (perhaps a Hail Mary) for each unedifying comment you made and offer it for those who were on the receiving end.



There are no comments for this post.

Add a comment

Will not be shared.
Add Comment
Online Giving

Online Giving

Secure and Convenient Donate now!