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

23rd Week in Ordinary Time

Thu, 09/11/2014
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

When was the last time you examined your conscience?
Today’s gospel challenges us to reflect upon our attitudes towards others…
examine our thoughts about and our responses to…..our enemies, the poor,
to those who make demands on us or make life difficult for us.
Hopefully such reflection will lead us to make necessary adjustments
so as to align our thoughts and responses with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
As human beings we have the power to change the way we think;
we have the power to change the way we respond.
We have been given the freedom by God
to do good or to do evil, to help or to hurt, to build up or to tear down.
Hatred, selfishness, contempt, fear, condemnation, hostility….
jealousy, lust, arrogance, meanness, suspicion, deception:  these are all learned.
Love, compassion, generosity, forgiveness, kindness….
mercy, gratitude, sacrifice, trust, humility, respect, a desire for truth
these too are learned.
People always say “there’s a reason for everything.”
Well, there is a reason we hate.
Somewhere along the line we experienced hatred: saw it in others, felt it.
It’s existence was brought to our awareness.
At that moment it became a possibility for us whether we understood it or not.
Evil thoughts and responses will not go away by themselves.
As a matter of fact, if we do nothing, they will get worse.
Because every time we think evil thoughts and/or choose evil responses
we feed its existence within our hearts and it grows.
Likewise, good thoughts and responses will not become part of us in and of themselves.
We must become aware of what is good by seeing it, feeling it, trying to understand it.
This is what Jesus does….brings the existence of goodness into our awareness.
Tries to convince us, with the help of grace, that goodness is a possibility.
And then every time we think of the good, every time we choose the good as a response,
every time we offer blessings to others,
every time we pray for goodness to win in the hearts of others
we feed its existence within and it grows.
So how might we respond to the terrorists in our world?:  pray not for their damnation,
but for the conversion of their hearts.
Somewhere along the line we all have to make of fundamental choice, a decision:
“in the long run what will provide maximum benefit for my personal well-being: good or evil?
And if I choose the good, what will be my source of learning, of strength, or inspiration?
What will I use to measure the quality, the substance, the authenticity of the good?”
My answer:  Jesus Christ, the Word of God, the teachings of the Church, the sacraments.
Let us remember…we are children of God.
And a simple equation sums up the living of our lives:  faith + love = goodness.