Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tuesday word, 19 Feb 2008

Tuesday, Second Week of Lent (19 Feb 2008) Is 1.10,16-20; Ps 50; Mt 23.1-12
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
True Aim

Lent is about dispositions and attitudes: exchanging more faithful and responsive ones for those which are brittle and self-preoccupied.

Prophet Isaiah’s call vividly describes this matter of the heart: cease doing evil; learn to do good. Make justice your aim: redress the wronged, hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow. Come now, let us set things right, says the LORD.

Many are the ways to set things right, that is, to restore right relationship between us and God and us and others. Many, too, are other ways, which seduce us not to do that.

The gospel recalled two such ways. Jesus noted the scribes and Pharisees were preoccupied with authority, which they did not use to serve the growth of others but rather to oppress others in order to excel before others. As representatives of Moses because they were custodians of torah, their inclination became hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is blindness to one’s inconsistent ways.

Lent is our opportunity to become aware of the inconsistent ways we practice our faith in Jesus. Do we merely give lip-service to our Christian life? Our lenten practices can help us accept Jesus’ invitation to allow our lives to speak more eloquently than words and to praise God--not ourselves--as we make God’s justice our aim.

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