Sunday, September 2, 2012 by Food for Thought
FirstReading: Dt 4:1-2, 6-8
Psalm: Ps 15:2-3, 3-4, 4-5
SecondReading: Jas 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27
Gospel: Mk 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
It is not uncommon to find people who would go to Mass every day and receive Holy Communion. But once the Mass is over, they unleash slander and poisonous gossip from their hearts and tongues. When they reach home, they curse and shout at their house-helps and
Today, you would often find people at the back of the church, or in the parking lot chatting and playing while “attending Mass.” Often during Mass, cell phones would ring and people would rush out of the church to answer their phone calls, as if somebody more important than God is calling their attention.
Fr. Ruben Tanseco, S.J., tells the example of a young woman at the communion line, who right after receiving the sacred Host, turns around and starts texting obviously oblivious of whom she had just received. She may be physically present at Mass, but her heart and soul are not.
Often people would call to ask, “How late can I be before I’m considered missing Mass?” For them the Eucharist is a burden, an obligation they grudgingly have to comply with.
Then there are those who come to Mass to be entertained by the homilies of the priests, not to listen to the word of God. They complain when the priest explains the Scripture readings and draws lessons from them. They are pleased when the priest just cracks jokes and sings during homilies.
The Philippinesis the only Catholic country in Asiawith 80% to 90% of the people baptized as Catholics. Yet it is the country with problems of graft and corruption, violence and crimes, pornography, scams and scandals, dishonesty and selfishness. We practice what psychologists call “split-level Christianity.”
Today’s Scripture readings invite us to look into our hearts and to ask ourselves to what extent the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel reading apply to us: “This people honors Me with their lips, but
their hearts are far from Me.”
They invite us to look into our own hearts and ask ourselves to what extent the words of James in today’s second reading apply to us: “Act on [God’s] word. If all you do is listen to it, you are
Let’s close by prayerfully re-reading Paul’s famous words on love in his First Letter to the Corinthians:
“I may be able to speak the language of men and even of angels. But if I have no love,
My speech is no more than a noisy gong….
I may have all the faith needed to move mountains –
But if I have no love, I am nothing.
I may give away everything I have…
But if I have no love,
This does me no good….
It is love, then, that you should strive for.”