August 30, 2105
(22nd Sunday Ordinary Time B)
St. James said, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” Jas_1:17-18,_21b-22,_27
More than just reading and hearing the Word, purity means being doers of that same Word. Helping the needy and keeping oneself from allowing their heart to turn into what the “world” says is OK. That’s work! That’s purity!
But, we may ask, what’s wrong with the world, that I need to be so careful about?
Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile. “From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.” Mk 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Well! We wouldn’t happen to see any of that stuff out there in “the world,” now, would we? And if we think the answer to that is “no”, then all we have to do is to turn on our TV for a few minutes. We just might find every one of those “evils”!
THAT is what the world is teaching us. That is what the world is teaching our children. And if it’s not the TV, well, just open a magazine, turn on the internet, or our smartphones or even that old fashioned thing we call the radio.
Want to be pure, beloved? Maybe we need to turn it all OFF for a bit. Take a deep breath and find some GOOD out there instead of all the junk the media and the world want to convert us into. The problem is not religion. The problem is, which religion are we following? If God is not in it, then don’t be surprised to find out, that it really is “the world,” instead, that we worship – a religion in itself!
But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Js 24:15
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