In this week’s Sunday Scriptures, the Church gives us a few perspectives to think about. In the letter from St. James, he asks, “What good is it if someone has faith but does not have works?” Can we say go in peace and eat well to a person who has no food or shelter? Can we say, “Have a nice day,” and then do nothing to make that person’s day good? I think of the old saying, “Put your money where your mouth is.” How does your faith show? This letter says, “Show me your faith in action. And I will show you mine.” I think of the Outside da Box video, Evidence. In Evidence, the People vs. Jenny Smith case is brought to court to see if the Prosecutor can prove that teen Jenny is a follower of Christ. This is a contemporary easy way for teens to understand what St. James is saying to us today. Jenny is accused of being a Catholic. She even confesses to be Catholic. But is she really practicing her faith? Would others see us as Catholic Christians who live this radical life of self-giving and peace? What do we do to keep our faith alive? Can we demonstrate or tell others what we do that makes us Catholic?
In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus asks if we really know him. How can we be good followers of Christ if we don’t know Jesus? Peter lived, followed and even knew Jesus was the ‘anointed’ one, Christ. His faith and allegiance was tested many times. Jesus was saying to his followers that he would be rejected and killed. Peter says, No, that can’t be! Jesus says that Peter should stop thinking like a human being who puts all his faith and trust in this life. He should be thinking as God does. What does God think? What should you do? What would Jesus do? Have you ever wondered, what would Jesus think?
Not only do I need to examine my life daily to see how I’m doing, I need to decide how I will live. It takes thought and action. It doesn’t happen by accident. How often do I say, “God you are wrong about this.” I think I know better than God what I need or what I should do. Just like Peter, I may know Christ and try to follow him, but I often fail miserably! The Devil may tell me that this radical life is impossible. I will never be happy. I will never be able to find peace. Jesus tells us that he is wrong! With God, all things are possible. Just think. So I must continually ask, “What does God think? Am I thinking like Jesus?”
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
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