Matthew 23:27-32 Whitewashed Tombs!
Who am I? What do I think about throughout the day? What driving force is behind my actions? What do I do throughout the day? How am I living my life?
Today, before you do anything; before you read any further, please sit down and write down the answers to these questions. It might take longer than a half hour, but it is well worth it. You might not like what you see. You might not like what you have become. But it is precisely for this reason that you should do it. I am very confident that if you take this exercise seriously, you might be on the verge of re-creating your life!
Shun any brother who walks in a disorderly way.
We have become cowards in many ways. We have complicated our relationships and made them all the more superficial because no one likes to call anything by its proper name. The result not only harms individuals, but can nearly destroy institutions. In the name of “charity” we turn a blind eye or refuse to speak out against injustices, wrongful behavior, scandalous actions and/or deceitful omissions! This is not something new, but we have definitely taken it to new heights in our bestial culture and in the name of “tolerance” and “freedom.” St. Paul forcefully – magisterially – instructs his brothers and sisters, “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to shun any brother [or sister] who walks in a disorderly way and not according to the tradition they received.” In the name of tolerance we have sinned. In the name of freedom we have become enslaved to the whims and cycles of the latest and greatest theories and formulas for living a better life. We have suffered, but more, our children have suffered beyond imagining: self-mutilation, eating disorders, nervous disorders, panic attacks, suicides, school massacres, etc. Our homes are beautiful on the outside (and inside), but the families that live within those walls suffer, and suffer gravely. From a loneliness that creates fear to a depression that paralyzes the soul, the American family is in need of a Savior!
“Time and time again we broke your covenant, but you did not abandon us. Instead, through your Son, Jesus our Lord, you bound yourself even more closely to the human family by a bond that can never be broken…When we were lost and could not find our way, you loved us more than ever.”
- Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation I
“Blessed are those who fear the Lord”
Aren’t we supposed to love the Lord? Yes. Just like our parents. But if I cannot act out of love for the Lord, I may do it out of fear for him. Just like our parents. Fear is the beginning of wisdom, but only the beginning. We are called to graduate from Kindergarten. If we do, if we are willing to grow, if we are willing to walk away from a life of misdeeds and mishaps; if I am willing to walk in the light and shine like the Son, then I must embrace the Cross. The blood of Christ washes clean my outer garments and cleanses my soul from all stains! After his powerful exortation, St. Paul gives the best advice possible: “May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you."