Wednesday, October 12, 2011

No Excuses

October 12, 2011

Wednesday of the Twenty-Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does good, Jew first and then Greek. There is no partiality with God. Romans 2:10-11

The Lord said: "Woe to you Pharisees! You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb, but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God. These you should have done, without overlooking the others. Luke 11:42


Today, Father, help us to leave our selfishness at the door. We have heard your Word but know that hearing it alone is not the only part. Jesus, help us to balance being part meditating Mary and part hard-working Martha. Holy Spirit, inspire us to always look after others and never to overlook what is required of us in order to benefit from God's goodness and grandeur. Amen.


No one likes a moralizing moralizer calling us to task for our sins like some modern day Elmer Gantry. However, today we get a one-two wake-up punch from the first reading and the Gospel. In this corner, from Galilee, one of the original disciples -- St. Luke. And in this corner, hailing from the prisons of eternal city, the soldier-persecutor-turned-evangelizer Paul! Take that!

Sometimes the message we get in our daily readings is personally inspiring. But then there are days like today when Paul and Luke strike the same chord -- and that chord is challenging us in how we live our lives, how we care for others, and how we obey the commandments.

It is certainly much more inspiring to hear readings like that of the much-quoted prophet Micah -- You have been told, O mortal, what is good, and what the LORD requires of you: Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8). We hear it read as themes for retreats. It is selected as a reading for funerals and other passages. However, are the messages from Paul and Luke really any different? They are certainly more direct, blunt and to the point.

We have heard the Gospel. We know what is required. Yet we do not always measure up. Paul's letter to the Romans takes on our propensity to judge others without walking in their shoes. Do we suppose, then, that when we judge those who engage in such things and yet do them ourselves, that we will escape the judgment of God?

We can try to rationalize our behavior, however, we know that there are no excuses when we live with the Lord in the present moment or when we stand before God for our final eternal judgment.


As you walk through today, will you be a Pharisee or scholar of the law? Or will we be like humble servants? What would you rather store up? God's wrath for our misdeeds and judgments and prejudices or God's priceless kindness, forbearance, and patience? If we do the later, we will be rewarded. If not, woe to us.