Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 10:29 AM
The link to Bishop Caggiano's Statement on Abuse Crisis is posted below. Join us for the Rosary Rally of Prayer for the Conversion of America on Saturday, October 13, 2018 at Noon on the lawn.

9/30/18 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Fr. Reggie

Jesus is generous.

The slightest (or mightiest) good deed done for him or for his Kingdom will not go unrewarded - even if it's only giving a glass of water to someone who is thirsty.

Our King lavishes his blessings on everyone who lets him; we, as his followers, ought to do the same.

Unfortunately, many times we, like the Apostle John in this passage, are less generous than our Lord, and concern ourselves with hoarding the grace of God. Sometimes we refuse to give freely to others what we have freely received from God (cf. Matthew 10:8). Other times we envy the good that others are doing, as if it somehow it detracted from the good we are doing or made us look bad. But it is not for us to limit the range of divine benevolence by our pettiness. Rather, it is for us to extend it, to encourage whatever good is being done anywhere, whether or not we get the credit.

This exchange between St John and Jesus seems like a small one, but it actually gives us a glimpse into the very heart of God.

God is pure goodness, pure generosity.

There is no evil, no selfishness, not even the slightest smidgeon of miserliness or envy in the heart of God.

In the Middle Ages, the philosophers had a phrase that expressed this: bonum diffusivum est sui. This phrase means that goodness naturally spreads itself to others. Think of the sun and the stars. It is their nature to shine, to spread light and warmth; that's just what they do. It is similar with God.

It is his nature to shine with goodness, to spread goodness; he is always surrounding us with signs of his love, always wanting to fill our hearts with wisdom, grace, mercy, and virtue. 

When you’re drowning every fit of fashion you’re wearing soon becomes water-logged and starts pulling you down: shirts, shoes, smartwatches. Time to kick off your shoes and strip down to your skivvies. Any dead weight must be cast aside, or they’ll take you to the bottom. Our Lord today uses the image of the millstone. Our attachments not only affect us; they give a bad example to others. The grave consequences for our sins are nothing compared to the consequences of them if we lead others to sin too. When the rescued swimmer is back on shore half naked he doesn’t care about the cold or the humiliation; he’s just happy to be alive. 

If the Mafia is infamous fitting people for “cement overshoes,” it’s even more tragic to realize that our sinful attachments are like putting on those shoes ourselves, pouring in the cement, and jumping off a pier all by ourselves. The Spirit inspires us to take little steps to divest ourselves of those things that spiritually weigh us down. Our Lord doesn’t just leave us to try and strip off all this dead weight, especially if we’re drowning. He buoys us up with his grace and mercy. Ditch the dead weight before you start drowning.

 

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