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

30th Week in Ordinary Time

Date: 
Fri, 11/03/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

I had to keep Miss Whiskers, my cat, away from the phone this morning.
I was afraid she was going to call the Humane Society, the animal protection agency,
and report me for cruelty to an animal:  her!
I’m taking her to the vet today.
Last night, at the vet’s orders, I had to take away her food and water.
They have to sedate her when they groom her; she’s a wicked witch otherwise.
And there can be nothing in her stomach.
This is to prevent her from aspirating, choking during the process.
 
She was not a happy camper this morning.
She let me know she was upset…constantly under my feet, chewing on the drapery cords,
poking her nose in the garbage can, pacing around, driving me crazy with her relentless meowing.
I don’t like that I have to deprive her of food and water…but it’s for her own good.
 
The Pharisees and religious leaders thought they were acting for the good of their people
when they prohibited work on the Sabbath.
They thought and believed they were doing God’s will
by were making sure people did not break the 3rd Commandment:
“Remember the Sabbath Day; keep it holy.”
The practice of healing was considered work.
 
These same religious leaders would not give a second thought to
extracting a family member or one of their animals out of a muddy cistern on the Sabbath,
if and when the necessity arose.
They allowed themselves this exception
but would not permit another (i.e., Jesus) to do the work necessary to relieve human suffering
on the Sabbath.
They condemned Jesus, judge him to be in opposition to God,
because he does not obey God’s commands.
He’s providing a bad example for the people.  He’s leading them into sin.
 
Jesus brings their hypocrisy into the light, and in spite of being in conflict with the Pharisees,
Jesus continues to champion works of compassion on the Sabbath.
 
The Pharisees saw Jesus as a threat; he was undermining their authority.
They thought he was being motivated by self-interest, by error
or by an intention to embarrass them in public.
They couldn’t conceive that Jesus was motivated by Truth, by love, by faith.
 
I have learned over the years, that if someone has a particularly strong reaction
to an idea, to a suggestion, to an alternative approach, to a particular circumstance,
(I mean, wanting to get rid of someone by ending their life is a pretty strong reaction)
there’s something that’s just not right lurking in the back ground, something hidden,
some motivation, some fear, some guilt that is personal which compromises objectivity….
something that is not of God.
I’ve seen it in my own extended family.  I’ve often wondered why the same person
was always the scapegoat, always the lightning rod, always got picked on,
was seldom, if ever, defended by other family members.
 
It’s okay to be convicted and passionate.  It’s not okay to be destructive or menacing.
 
Today’s prayer:  “O Lord, help us to know the truth about You and about ourselves.  Through Your Son Jesus Christ, heal the deep wounds that fester below the surface that unconsciously interfere with how we relate to one another.  Free us to be compassionate with all who are suffering.  Amen!”