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Concern about Ritual Purity leads to Darkness of Heart

Homily for Tuesday of the 28th Week of Ordinary Time

Today, St. Paul claims that those who become vain in their reasoning become fools while claiming to be wise; they exchange the truth of God for a lie. When we lose sight of the truth of who God is, worshiping the creature rather than the creator, the lusts of our hearts rule, our minds are darkened and wickedness is the result.

This seems to be the failure of the Pharisee in today’s Gospel passage. He lost sight of the maker and placed too much emphasis on that which God created, lost sight of the truth and so allowed himself to be filled with plunder and evil. His ritual purity is threatened, not by a lack of attention to externals, but rather by a problem with interior darkness.

Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Teresa of Jesus, better known as Teresa of Avila. Throughout her life, there were many who questioned her, saying that she was guided by evil, not by God. She nevertheless kept her focus on her Lord, always clinging to God who gave her everything. She has timeless words of wisdom:

Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing make you afraid.
All things are passing.
God alone never changes.
Patience gains all things.
If you have God you will want for nothing.
God alone suffices.

Saint Teresa was never vain in her reason. She had an interior light, rather than darkness. May she intercede for us, what we may never lose sight of the truth of who God is!

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator

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