The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

29th Week in Ordinary Time

Date: 
Fri, 10/21/2016
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

Those who oppose Jesus and his message are unmasked.
False fronts are named for what they are.  What is hidden behind such false fronts is laid bare.
Members of the opposition take pride in their ability to discern weather patterns,
in their ability to make deals with someone taking them to court so as to avoid imprisonment.
They appear to be intelligent
and they use this intelligence on a practical level to their own advantage.
 
They fail, however, to use their intelligence when it comes to religious and spiritual matters.
They take pride in their knowledge of and fulfillment of the Law.
They have no doubts that their standing before God is secure.
Yet, they fail to discern God’s activity in Jesus’ preaching and actions.
They fail to recognize that in and through Jesus, God is calling them to judgment for their sin.
Jesus strips away their outward pious appearance to reveal the corruption of sin in their hearts.
Even then they deny such sin.
And since they see no sin within themselves, they see no need to repent and seek forgiveness,
they see no need for the redemption Jesus offers.
They can discern the weather, they can avoid time in jail,
but they cannot judge for themselves what is right, what is of God.
 
St. Luke is warning the members of his community about the dangers of hypocrisy.
It is important for disciples to read the signs of the times through the eyes of faith…
and to respond intelligently, to respond with right judgment.
At the same time, concern about the meaning of what is happening in the outer world
must not distract the disciple, must not blind the disciple,
from what is happening in his or her our own heart.
 
As we look for the activity of God in our midst
we must remember:  the most significant sign of God’s presence and activity
has already been given in Jesus Christ.
No greater sign from God will be given in human history.
The greatest challenge, the greatest mystery, is not out in space somewhere.
The greatest challenge and mystery for the human being is inside:
in the heart, in the mind, in one’s awareness and consciousness, in the depths of one’s very soul.
This is where the answer lies.  This is where truth is to be found.
The greatest challenge and mystery in life
is to allow the light of Jesus Christ to pierce into the depths of the human soul…
to let that light unmask us, show us what lies behind our motivations and attitudes,
and then remove all that is false.
 
It is important for us to use our intelligence to read the signs of the times.
It is more important for us to discern and understand the activity of God in our own hearts.
The truth is that no matter the purity of our conduct and behavior,
no matter the sincerity and consistency of our devotions,
sin is always part of us and is always lurking just out of sight.
And because of this sin we will always need repentance, forgiveness,
and freedom from its consequences.
Holiness is not a feeling.  It is a state of being possessed by and ever purified by the grace of God
in the depths of one’s heart and soul.
 
Our prayer for today:  “O Lord, teach me to judge rightly and to respond faithfully to the needs of my own heart, so as to live in the light of Jesus Your Son.  Deepen my shallow faith and protect me from the pretense of piety.  Amen!”