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Get into the ring! How this works...

This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily main focus for preaching this coming Sunday. What I am hoping for is a reaction from people in the pews. Does my "focus" connect with your daily life, faith, and experience? Or not? Either affirm the direction I am going in (by giving me an example from your life) or challenge me, ask for clarification! Questions are the best! Reaction rather than reflection is what I'm looking for here. Don't be afraid, get in the ring. Ole!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Is being right, righteousness? Don't think so.

-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at
-I will be celebrating mass this weekend on Sunday at 9:30 and 11:00am

Is Right Righteous?

I think we might be in for a big surprise this weekend with the call to be righteous.  I'm thinking that we won't be able to respond to the call because our society has basically forgotten what righteousness is. Our society has replaced the call to righteousness(which by the way means right with God and neighbor according to justice) with the insistence with simply always being "right". 

This idea of being "right" all the time is the manifestation of our society's loss of humility and a sense of personal sin.  People today pretty much strive to always see themselves as "right".  What I mean by right is that I can never admit to any fault, sin, or wrong.  So that endless television programs and radio talk show keep presenting to us this line of thinking...."according to my self-created standards, I haven't done anything that anybody else can judge as wrong. In fact, no one has the right to judge me at all."

The fancy word fo this societal rationale is relativism.  It is at work in our daily lives.  Everyone has decided that no one else is allowed to judge them for believing what they believe.  And everybody is allowed to do or say whatever they feel/determine is best for them at that time in their circumstances.  And even if other people don't like it, that doesn't make it wrong.  That just makes other people cranky and judgmental.   The mantra of this "rightness" is "Only God can Judge Me(by the way they have created their version of God so even God won't judge them".

A Pharisee was someone who had achieve a certain level of righteousness (right order with God and neighbor), someone who also took created for it.  Just another self-centered, God-imitator.  Jesus says that we ought to be minimally as righteous as the pharisee - but exceed that to give God the credit.  It is tough being someone who plays by the rules in a world where everyone else is changing the rules whenever it suits them. 

So Jesus is calling us and empowering us to recognize laws that come from God, obey them as they are interpreted by the Church, and live them in humility and service to other who have no clue or interest in God, obedience, faith, Church, humility or love of neighbor?  That is righteousness. 


Mary Holter said...

Can you please clarify righteousness versus integrity? It seems that many people may be "judgmental" because they are aggravated with the lack of personal responsibility that people have for their poor choices or actions which have hurt others. It seems that the our society makes fun or belittles those with values and morals so those who try to live with those beliefs are labeled as "self-righteous" or "judgmental". How do we respond as Catholic Christians to those family members who accuse us of such things based on our Faith?

anon 1 said...

I particularly love that last paragraph of yours, Matador, because I think it sums it all up pretty accurately. And while it sounds awful in one way, I believe you've described the selfless Christian way of living. I think it's only by giving God the credit, and only by giving ourselves away, that we can advance the Kingdom here on earth. We can spend a lot of energy working for what is right - but if we do it in a way that looks for the credit to come back to ourselves, we've gained nothing for the furthering of God's reign. We have to spend ourselves if we hope to make things "right".

Anonymous said...

Mary, living your faith is a response ~

Jim said...

I think your comments are exactly in line with with is going on today. The last paragraph sums it up well...and it IS tough playing by the rules when everyone else seems to be changing them.

I look forward to hearing the entire homily.