A WORD FROM FR. BOB
Dear Church Family,
More evil than ever, you hear these words and you probably agree there is so much evil. It comes to us on the news and in the newspaper. There is just so many tendencies for people to do evil things. Certainly when we talk about this we are talking about big things but there is also little things that are filled with evil. Our children are even tempted to do little evil things. They just tease one another, hurt feelings, bully, say mean things, or exclude someone. We know that we constantly try to say, “Why the evil?” Any of you with siblings growing up knew that there was always tendencies for your siblings to do evil things. That being said even the adults, that’s us, have our tendencies to do evil whether in our minds, our judgements, in our hearts or in our emotions. Maybe today we can challenge ourselves to fill ourselves only with good. Even the Apostles had their evil side.
Today’s first reading talks about a war in our minds between evil elements such as jealous, selfish ambition and lighter elements like purity and mercy. Today’s Gospel has a similar theme that tells how the Apostles were fighting about which one of them was the greatest. You can just imagine Peter saying, “Jesus told me I was the rock. I’m the leader.” John replies, “But Jesus called me the beloved Apostles.” Andrew pipes in saying, “Don’t forget I was the first Apostle. I’ve been with Him the longest.” It can sound a little silly but we also do this kind of thing. This is the kind of thing James is talking about when he says, “Where do the conflicts among you come from?” The parable James tells us is that we have a tendency to let our minds roam where they want to go. If we don’t keep a watch on them they can roam into wrongful areas of our hearts and begin conjuring up all kinds of self-centered thoughts.
One of the authors I have gone to proposes a solution for all of these tendencies to evil. He says, “Here’s the plan to help you keep watch on your mind. Step 1: Fill your mind with thoughts about the Lord every morning and at regular points throughout the day. Step 2: Jesus is all we need! Fill your mind with Jesus through the sacraments, prayers, hymns, scriptures and especially Holy Communion and it will dramatically affect the way you think and act.
As I reflected last week that really soulful joy has all these elements and all is well when we fill our minds with the discipline and then maybe spend fifteen minutes exclusively with the Lord every morning and stop periodically during the day to turn back to the Lord. You will see those evil inclinations to sin melt away. Church, pray for the grace to hear as Jesus says, “Lead me not into temptation.” Alleluia!
Love, Fr. Bob