Back to Basics
8th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

Religious faith and practice is of critical importance when it comes to maintaining a balanced approach to life. As Jesus told us, it all begins with our common primary purpose which is to know, love and serve God. Nothing should be allowed to overshadow this obligation. We, of all earthly creatures, are specifically designed to consciously do this. We are, by nature, knowers and lovers.

That means that we ought to be seekers of truth and of goodness. But it is not all that easy!

Other forces compete strenuously with our best intentions, or as our predecessors might have put it: "The path of righteousness contains many a deep pit to catch the unwary traveler." No matter which pit we fall into, whether it be of greed, or pride, or lust, or vanity, or envy or gluttony or, more than likely, a personal cocktail of two or more of the above, our departure from righteousness will eventually lead to fearful anxiety.

You and I are well aware that there are a lot of very unhappy, discontented people in our midst. It seems that much of that discontent and unhappiness can be traced to personal and corporate sin and to the overall effect of that sinfulness on all of society wherein the most vulnerable, the poorest, the oppressed, the least guilty, suffer the most.

We are not designed to live in a godless society and we donít have to do so. God is very much among us in every part of this world but His HANDS are tied by so many of those into whoís HANDS he has entrusted his creation. The values that should be first are last and the values that should be last are first.

No one expects you to be the one who sets the world on course. No one expects me to establish the global priorities that will bring justice and peace to humanity. But that is no excuse for each one of us not doing a thorough personal housecleaning.

The time is right! We are only ten days away from Lent. Lent is an ancient English word for The Spring season. Spring and cleaning go well together, do they not?

Let it all begin with a very personal question: "On balance, am I part of the problem or of the solution?"

One thing remains certain: we can only serve one master. We have Godís word on that.

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