Monday, June 26, 2017

Leave this place. With those simple words, the journey of Abraham began and humanity was changed forever. (click the link to read more)

Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 371
GN 12:1-9
PS 33:12-13, 18-19, 20 AND 22
MT 7:1-5

Leave this place.   With those simple words, the journey of Abraham began and humanity was changed forever.   There is a great deal of courage involved when one uproots from where they are and journeys into the unknown.   The waters of life are often murky and difficult to traverse.  The beautiful thing about the Sacred Scriptures is that it speaks to us on multiple levels.    While this story can be read as a simple historical account of the journey of a man and his family out of their home and into a new land, we today as Christians see it as an example of our spiritual lives.   We are called every day to “leave this place” spiritually and to build an Altar in the land we are journeying into.

Just watching the news or spending a few minutes on Facebook remind us just how backward the world has become.   Freedom of sexual expression has become the sacred cow of our age.  Politics has become less about making the world a better place for all and more about ‘winning’ against the other party.   Famous men and women make jokes about killing prominent actors in the Washington Saga and unhinged fanatics take those thoughts and run with them.  The sacred space of the Church is often besmirched by men and women who want change at any cost.  All of this requires us to journey.   To follow Christ in our actions, to abide by the teachings of the Church, and above all to have a deep, meaningful change interiorly are all steps to “leave this place.”   To leave the sinful person we have become and journey back to who we were made to be.  To build a Temple in our Hearts, that Christ may be constantly Present there through frequent reception of the Sacraments and Pious living.

The problem is that we often become so ‘pious’ that we go to the other extreme and judge each and every person harshly.  I’m not excusing sin.  Sin is real and it is definitely a problem.   The Church teaches it this way: Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another's statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.   (CCC 2478)  I think that often we get so caught up in all the activity of the Devil in the world that we forget to keep our eyes on Jesus.   We forget to judge with mercy and love.   We don’t take the time to have a favorable interpretation, nor even to speak to them to see if they understand it.   We rush to judge.   Jesus reminds us simply we too are sinners.   Did we understand when we were there?  I didn’t.   How then do I turn around and judge them so harshly for what I’ve done as well?

That’s what evangelization is supposed to be.   Reaching out to another hurting soul and saying “I know someone who can make us both better.”  Are you reaching out?  Or crossing your arms?  What kind of example of “leaving this place” are you setting for those who may never see any other Bible than your life?

His servant and yours,
Brian Mullins

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my rock, and my redeemer. - Psalm 19:14