1 Timothy 3:14-16Ps 111:1-6Luke 7:31-35www.usccb.org/bible/readings/092017.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:ccc.usccb.org/cccradio/NABPodcasts/17_09_20.mp3
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
Jesus said to the crowds:
“To what shall I compare the people of this generation?
What are they like?
They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another,
‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance.
We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.’
For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine,
and you said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said,
‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’
But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”
Good News Reflection: Standing strong as pillars of truth
Our first reading today speaks of God’s household, the Church, which is the “pillar and foundation of truth.” This is the Catholic Church. Remember that originally there was only one Church, one Christianity. The word “catholic” means universal, and we sometimes forget this when we use the word “Catholic” to differentiate ourselves from those who are Christian but separated from the original Church.
As Timothy points out, this original Church is the foundation of Christian religion, responsible for holding the truth up for all the world to see. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, this Church has retained the fullest body of truth, protected for 2000 years through the unbroken succession of ordination to the priesthood. Even when popes and bishops were corrupt or politically controlled, the Church Magisterium continued to protect true doctrine.
Remember, too, that Jesus IS the truth (and the way and the life). Due to retaining the original practice of the transubstantiation of bread and wine into the miraculous Eucharist, the Catholic Church is the pillar that holds Jesus up — in the fullest possible way — for the world to see.
However, for the world to recognize the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and in the other six sacraments, we need to uphold the teachings of the Church. We need to embrace them in our parish communities. We need to understand them — why they’re beneficial, how they’re scriptural, and why living by them is the best, most loving way to interact with our world.
When we don’t, we build a false image of the Church using walls that block others from seeing the truth.
Conversely, when we repent and let others see us change, we reinforce the wall that protects people from the falsehoods that would otherwise keep them away from Christ.
Being a Catholic Christian is not for wimps. It takes Godly strength to stand firm as a pillar of truth. It’s a choice, actually a series of choices that we face every day. This choice is what makes us either “like children” complaining to their playmates, as described by Jesus in our Gospel reading today, or mature Catholics who accept the wisdom of God.
And from where do we get the strength to stand firm? From the Eucharist, which is the full embodiment of Jesus the Truth, and from the other sacraments.
By growing more mature in the use of the sacraments, we are purified so that we can live as pillars of truth. And by growing more mature in the understanding of the Church’s teachings, we become part of the strong foundation of the Church; our personal pillars won’t crumble under pressure, attacks, or the earthquakes of confusion. There is no good excuse for failing to educate ourselves in the teachings of the Catholic Faith, especially today when the Catechism is online and the documents which explain Church teachings are easily available.
Let us not be complaining children who reject the authority of the Church and its protection of the truth. If we have any objections to its teachings, it’s only because we’ve not researched what is really being said and we’ve not asked the Holy Spirit to help us understand it. May our lives, our Church leaders, and our parishes always be witnesses of the truth! Amen!
Lord Jesus: Purify my heart of every attitude of judgment towards others, and give me the wisdom I need to discover everything good and noble that You have placed in every person. Amen.
© 2017 by Terry A. Modica