Homily for Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Readings for Today

What was the purpose of the Law? Both the first reading and the gospel are getting at the heart of its purpose. For the past few days Paul has been making the point that when considering our relationship with Christ, it is not primarily about following a set of rules and regulations, but is rather about that change of heart that leads to our living out our full humanness.

Where is our heart? For that is the question that is really what we are called to answer. In fact, Jesus tells us there is a deep relationship between what we value and our heart. Whatever captures our heart becomes the most important in our lives.

When it comes to religion, there can be a temptation to avoid the hard work of conversion, and to allow ourselves the easy work of following a few rules. Then, we have the pride of being faithful, without really having to make any difficult changes in our life.

It is easy to understand why we would focus on those rules that are easy to keep. True conversion is hard work. Turning our back upon sin is not an easy thing. By carefully avoiding the hard work, and focusing upon the easy rules to follow, we never really grow in our faith life.

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Homily for Monday, October 13, 2014

Readings for Today

Perhaps you have heard someone suggest that what really matters is on the inside. Or maybe you have heard the common proverb, “You cannot judge a book by its cover.” The suggestion is that what is internal is ultimately more important than what is external.

We certainly would not see this belief evident in commercials or advertisements we may see. How someone looks is the object of much attention when we look at advertisements. We need to be quite pretty, if we were to listen to what we are told, don’t we? We have to be thin, have skin without blemish, have the latest hair style, and spend a lot of money on those things that eliminate our not so pleasant physical characteristics. We may say that what really matters is on the inside, but it can be awfully hard to convince someone who looks only at the culture of advertising that this is really true.

But as we gain wisdom, we see that indeed the development of the internal really does matter. We also talk about substance over style, for example. I have heard studies that suggest when two people are married and experiencing true love, they continue to find each other more and more attractive, even as men may go bald, and extra weight might find itself on bodies. This is true because couples more and more appreciate the characteristics and qualities that really make human beings talented. We can quickly see the difference between those who are slick, but do not embody the long lasting characterisitics that we have come to value as human beings.

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