Wednesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time, October 14
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.
At the beginning of today’s Responsorial Psalm, we read, “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.”
Today, we are given an opportunity of reflecting upon the first Psalm in the Book of Psalms, which shows us the contrast between good and evil, and the inevitable consequences of the decisions we make as we travel daily through this vale of tears on this side of eternity.
In our journey through life, we sometimes find ourselves in a position where it is very difficult not to stumble in our relationship with God. The average person is confronted with so many distractions, pressuring him or her into a making a decision which can separate us from the Love which God has for us.
Saint Paul reminds us today, however, of how important it is live in the spirit of our Christian faith, not allowing ourselves to be seduced by the many weaknesses of the flesh which tear away at the very fabric of our personal sanctity.
For he writes in his Letter to the Galatians, “Now the works of the flesh are obvious…” And he speaks out against an entire “laundry list” of vices which harm our relationship with God. And he concludes his condemnation with the words, “I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”
But then, in contrast, he promotes those virtues which we have come to know as the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. And he concludes by stating, “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.”
And following the Spirit is a behavior which the Pharisees failed to exhibit in their own way of life, as Jesus forcefully pointed out in today’s Gospel.
For we find that our Lord was not “pulling any punches”, that 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.” In other words, by their example, they would lead others astray, by causing God’s children to fall into sin!
When I was reflecting upon 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 harmless, 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 – 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.”
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 warns us, “…those who do such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”
But for those 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.
And we are lifted up by the words which began today’s meditation, “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.”
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 may touch. †
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
- “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in company with scoffers. Rather, the law of the LORD is his joy; and on his law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2)
- “Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, actions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)
- “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)
- “…the wicked will not arise at the judgment, nor will sinners in the assembly of the just. Because the LORD knows the way of the just, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.” (Psalm 1:5-6)
- “In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
- “Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” (Psalm 34:19)
- “God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress.” (Psalm 46:2)
- “For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears turned to their prayer…” (1 Peter 3:12a ~ Psalm 34:16)
- “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:24-25)
- “Like obedient children, do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance but, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct, for it is written, ‘Be holy because I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:14-16 ~ Leviticus 11:44b; 19:2b)
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 opened 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 openedAnonymous
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 Almighty God. Amen.”