All four of today’s Mass readings brought to mind how I am living my life in Christ and also how the ways of the world keep tugging to take me off the narrow road that my Lord tells me leads to eternal life with Him.
Deuteronomy 4 says; “for thus will you give evidence of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations, who will hear of all these statutes and say, ‘This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.’”
Psalm 15 says; “Who harms not his fellow man, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor; by whom the reprobate is despised, while he honors those who fear the LORD.”
James 1 says; “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.”
And finally the Gospel from Mark 7 says; “Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile. From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.”
I got the impression from Deuteronomy that if we listen and follow the commandments of the Lord, we will give great witness of wisdom and intelligence to lead our nation to greatness. What has happened to our once great nation. I think we, society has looked to the wisdom and intelligence of the world rather than that of God.
And in Psalm 15 it is another way of reminding us to love the Lord with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength along with loving our neighbors as ourselves. I think we, society has become very selfish in our decisions with the mantra of “what’s in it for me?”
It’s much easier to listen to the word of God than to do it. James says we need to do the will of God. I have been thinking much of the corporal works of mercy, feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick, visiting the imprisoned and burying the dead. How much do I really do? Now the spiritual works of mercy I am much better with, counseling the doubtful, instructing the ignorant, admonishing sinners, comforting the afflicted, forgiving others, bearing wrongs patiently and praying for the living and the dead.
And then Jesus tells us that evil comes from within us. That is pretty sobering. If I do not clean out the sin within me, there is no room for the Holy Spirit to reside and it is very hard for me to bring the ways of Jesus to the world according to my state in life.
I do have great faith, hope and trust that God is permitting much of this evil to somehow bring us closer to him. I for one will be clinging to Him as the world continues to try to take me down. May God bless us and have mercy on us all.