Reflections - September 2, 2018

“Everything that goes into a person from outside cannot defile……But what comes out of a person, that is what defiles…….evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.  All these evils come from within and they defile.” Mk.  7:18, 20-23.
 
I was reading a book in which the author narrates examples on the inconsistency between what you think and what you live.  My attention was drawn to how sometimes we reflect that incoherence through our relationships:  friendship, social, political, and religious.  In the end the author of the book makes a call to be consistent between what you think and how you live your life and with your relationship with your neighbor.
 
In this Sunday’s readings, the Apostle James also urges us to Christian consistency using as a symbol two homeless people of his time – the widow and the abandoned orphan. Today the field can be expanded with works of justice, as Pope Francis says:  “……..with the elderly living alone and discarded”.
 
Some days ago I was reading the story of an elderly man who wrote messages of compassion and hope through Facebook.  Dozens of people sent him messages saying:  “Profound words.  I was struck by your inspiring message!  Like!” Days passed and the man was not communicating so a lady that lived nearby his home passed by to see why he was not writing anymore and found that the man had died alone several days before. The reflection that comes to mind is the phrase from James:  “Be doers of the word and not hearers only.”  Jas 1:22.  Christian faith is consistent love that translates into works of justice and mercy. Otherwise, we fall into the incoherence of living a superficial faith for appearances only without compromises. As the Lord said:  “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”  Mt. 15:8. Remember that:  “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” Mt. 6:21.
 
Let us ask the Lord in the Eucharist to make us coherent with the Commandment of love to:  “Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind and your neighbor as yourself”.
 
I wish to remind you that this Saturday, the 8thof September, is the Feast of Our Lady of Charity – the patroness of Cuba.  Virgin of Charity - pray for us!