Wednesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time, October 16
May God Grant Us the Wisdom and the Courage to Always Live a Faith-Filled Life, Giving Witness to God’s Will in Our Daily Lives Through All That We Say and Do, and the Virtuous Examples We Set for Others Whom Our Lives Touch.
“Only in God is my soul at rest; from him comes my salvation” – the first verse from today’s Responsorial Psalm, words which speak to us of faith and trust in a Merciful God.
As you and I journey through life, it is oftentimes very difficult to sit back and not become judgmental about the different things we see or hear, or even the events which we experience personally.
And we may even find ourselves, sometimes, too quick to give our opinions or advice about issues, albeit with good intentions, before thinking about the consequences or repercussions that our ideas may have on other people, even on those whom we love and hold dear.
Oftentimes, being critical, when done from an attitude of arrogance or pride, is lacking in charity. Oftentimes, rendering constructive criticism to others, when offered without humility, is lacking in Christian love, and can result in more harm than good.
I am sure that we have either heard or read about, from time to time, how many in our media and entertainment industries, who embrace political and moral liberalism, treat, in a very condescending and negative way, those who speak on behalf of Judeo-Christian principles of morality and human behavior.
In their aggressive attitude against those whom they hold with little or no respect, they end up hurting, even destroying the reputation of good people, all the result of a judgmental position against those who think or act differently.
Saint Paul reminds us today, in his Letter to the Romans, of how important it is to show charity and love in our dealings with other people. When we begin to criticize and disparage others, for whatever reason, then we set ourselves against the Love of God.
For Paul writes, “You, O man, are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment. For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself…”
In other words, when one places him or herself in a position where he becomes condescending towards another, then he, who is called by Christ to profess the virtues of love, compassion and understanding as a Christian, has become a hypocrite by the very words he speaks.
And in today’s Gospel, Jesus was not “pulling any punches”; He was not diminishing His extreme displeasure when he berated the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. “Woe to you! You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.” For it was by their example that they would lead others astray, causing others to fall into sin.
When I was reflecting on today’s Scripture Readings, I began thinking about today’s youth and the different forms of entertainment made available to them. On the surface, much of it seems rather innocuous or inoffensive, but when we begin to view how some of it can affect our young people – through its lyrics or the content of various video games or immoral behavior on TV shows and movies – the effects can become quite different.
I am sure many of us have seen, at one time or another, the various drama series on TV, whether it be Law and Order, Criminal Minds or the various other shows that pit law and justice against the criminal element and the nefarious crimes they commit.
A common theme which seems to run through most of these shows is the constant battle between good and evil, and that good generally wins out in the end. There are so many different shows within this category, having been broadcast over such a long period of time, that, even though we know these shows to be fictitious in the specific stories they tell and the characters they portray, it is the content itself to which most of us have become desensitized.
Violence, trauma, mayhem, sexual disorders – they have all become human behavior to which we have become comfortable watching. For the average mature adult, we are able to place the portrayal of these events in the realm of some form of escape – a way of separating ourselves from the real world and the tensions we face every day.
But for the younger, more impressionable minds, our youth are more prone to being affected by what they see. And we witness this behavior in some of the video games they purchase and the genre of music and its lyrics to which they listen.
And in a secular culture where the influence of God is already greatly diminished, our youth become more prone to being seduced and deceived by images and storylines which seem to glamorize the darker side of life.
Please do not misunderstand me – I am not passing judgment on the shows we watch on TV or the movies. But I am making an objective observation about the content, and how it can affect impressionable young minds, if we – as parents and grandparents – are not watchful and discerning.
We can make an objective observation that the media can, in certain instances, lead our youth astray. In this sense, we can identify certain parallels between today’s media and the Pharisees and the “scholars of the law” in today’s Gospel, about whom our Lord was condemning their conduct and activities –
“Woe also to you…You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.”
In today’s antiphon to the Responsorial Psalm, we read, “Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.” For those of us who embrace the will of God and place Him first and foremost in our everyday life, God will grant us the grace to grow in personal holiness.
For those who embrace a culture of darkness together with the lies and deceits which are found only in the shadows of life, then, as Saint Paul tells us, “…affliction and distress will come upon everyone who does evil…”
May the God, who loves each one of us beyond all manner of human description or understanding – and who is our Eternal and Most Loving Father – grant us the wisdom and the courage to always live a faith-filled life, giving witness to God’s will in our daily lives through all that we say and do, and the virtuous examples we set for others whom our lives touch.
For it is through this faith which we not only embrace, but also actively live throughout our pilgrimage on this side of Heaven, that the words of today’s psalmist become our own, “Only in God is my soul at rest; from him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed at all.” †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “Therefore, you are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment. For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself…” (Romans 2:1ab)
- “One thing God has said; two things I have heard: Strength belongs to God; so too, my Lord, does mercy, For you repay each man according to his deeds.” (Psalm 62:12-13)
- “[God] who will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works, but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness. Yes, affliction and distress will come upon every human being who does evil…” (Romans 2:6-9)
- “Woe to you! You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk…Woe also to you…You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.” (Luke 11:44, 46)
- “Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked, Nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, But delights in the law of the LORD and meditates on his law day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2)
- “Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” (Psalm 34:19)
- “For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears turned to their prayer…” (1 Peter 3:12a ~ Psalm 34:16)
- “My soul rests in God alone, from whom comes my salvation. God alone is my rock and salvation, my fortress; I shall never fall.” (Psalm 62:2-3)
Prayer for the Day
“Most Holy and Eternal Spirit,
as we travel through life and experience Your gift of faith,
teach us to recognize the different ways
by which You speak to us in our daily lives.
“Amidst the many distractions of the world,
amidst all the distortions and perversions which exist,
may we never ignore or close our ears to Your Voice
in the ordinary events which we experience daily.
“We humbly pray for Your grace,
enabling our hearts to always be open to Your Holy Presence,
always remaining attuned to Your inspirations
which guide us in a holy and right relationship with You.
“And may our eyes always be open
to the path upon which You are directing us –
for the sake of our salvation and, most especially,
for the greater honor and glory of our Heavenly and Eternal Father. Amen.”Anonymous