26th Sunday of Ordinary Time
The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church
Being a Christian means being led by the Holy Spirit into the fullness of our identity as children of God, and becoming a true reflection of Christ. To be Christ like is to live like Christ, for the Kingdom, using our intellect and will to freely make choices defined by Love of God and Love of Neighbor. To love God fully and completely is to love like Christ, ourselves and our neighbor.
Because we live in a world which praises achievements, material wealth, status and superficial beauty above all else, the life of a missionary disciple takes perseverance, as St. Paul says to Timothy in the second reading.
The rich man in Gospel this morning wasn’t an axe-murderer, mafia boss, or the head of a human trafficking ring. He had no particularly damaging "sins of commission”, at least none pointed out by Jesus in the parable. He was a pretty good guy, it would seem. And yet, he failed to enter into eternal life. Why? Because of his "sins of omission". Day after day, he closed his heart to a neighbor who was in dire need of help.
We, followers of Christ can be just as deeply infected with the secular ideals, values and ethics as the folks who aren't people of faith, even when it comes to life in the Church. Our way of living our faith can be very individualistic and self-centered. We can over emphasis personal salvation being 'self made' morally good people. Meaning we basically avoid actions which are ethically wrong, such as, failing to worship God in the “official” way, committing violent actions against others, behaving in a sexually immoral way, stealing things from people, gossiping maliciously about others, being jealous, envious, angry, resentful and so on.
We must be more than ‘a good person’ as compared to others, but rather to be ‘good’ with God as our measure.
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Fr. Blair Gaynes has been in the Diocese since 2008.