26 Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 27, 2020
I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT TO BELIEVE!
How many times have you heard someone say that recently?
I just don’t know what to believe!
How many times have you, yourself, said or felt it?
I just don’t know what to believe!
Do you find yourself saying it…or feeling it…or hearing those words…more and more and more these days?
Doubt, uncertainty, and mistrust are not pleasant thoughts to have in our minds. Those feelings weigh heavy on our hearts. They are very unsettling. So, when those dark clouds of uncertainty appear on the horizon, I, for one, run for the shelter of Sacred Scripture. There, pure truth is found.
In our First Reading, Ezekiel lays it out plain and simple.
“what is right and just…”
In other words…what is TRUE ensures life. It follows, then, that lies and deceit bring death.
But, if we stop there…don’t we risk ending up where we began? Questioning. So, what is right? What is just? What is true? I just don’t know what to believe!
And so, our Church…in Her infinite wisdom, has chosen as our Second Reading a passage from St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians. What can we believe to be true? We can believe as pure truth the attitude of Christ Jesus. An attitude of selfless love that draws ALL people together in ONE mind and ONE spirit…THE HOLY SPIRIT. And, of course, we can believe the attitude of Christ, which is humility…and that attitude is pleasing to God.
Now, admittedly, you might well find this passage a bit elusive, hard to understand. But there is nothing challenging about the Gospel.
It is worth noticing that, here, Jesus is turning the tables on a crew that repeatedly approached Him with feigned curiosity. Slapping a phony smile on their faces in an effort to conceal their envy and contempt, they would ask in a sugary tone of voice:
Rabbi…what is your opinion about…
this or that.
They posed any number of questions on a variety of subjects, which they felt were cleverly crafted traps. Their intention was not to learn truth…to discover what they could safely believe…but, rather, to ensnare Jesus. Of course, on every single occasion, The Lord saw right through them. Each time, He foiled their efforts by humbly responding with pure truth.
Here, He asks them a question, which can only be answered with THE TRUTH…no matter how deceitful their nature. His question was of a sort with which we can all easily identify.
Who hasn’t been like the brother who said SURE, I CAN DO THAT! I’LL GET RIGHT TO IT, the whole time knowing full well that he had no intention of rolling up his sleeves and getting his hands dirty.
And who hasn’t grumbled, but grudgingly trudged away to do the job…because it needed to be done…because it was the right thing to do…because it was their responsibility?
So, let’s apply this simple lesson to ourselves, a lesson that most probably escaped these sneaky Pharisees.
Think of it this way: When The Body of Christ is placed in our hands and we nod and say AMEN! what we are actually saying is YES!
YES! Through this Eucharist, I will try my best to reflect the attitude of Jesus Christ. I will try my best to live the Gospel.
YES! By the help of the graces I receive from this Holy Communion, I will make every effort to show selfless love and compassion to all humankind.
YES! With the Body of Christ strengthening my fragile, earthly body and my weak will, I will use my talents to draw people together in unity and peace.
…as best I can.
YES! Emboldened by The Sacrament, I will insist on truth and demand what is right and just…especially for those who are voiceless and powerless.
So, the takeaway from these Readings…seems to me anyway…boils down to this: Be truthful with God and be truthful with yourself.