February 13, 2019
by Chas Kestermeier, S.J.
Creighton University's English Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 331

Genesis 2:4b-9, 15-17
Pslams 104:1-2a, 27-28, 29bc-30
Mark 7:14-23

Praying Ordinary Time

Psalm response: O bless the Lord, my soul!

What Jesus means here on the literal level is obvious when he speaks about what goes into a man or comes out of a man, but He takes it to another level that we might describe in this way:

On the one hand, we cannot just blame circumstances, other people, or God for who we are or what we have become, nor can we obsess over what others do or the role that they play in our lives.  We have little or no control over that, and it is not what comes to us that we are responsible for.  If we do always place the blame elsewhere, it is a refusal to take responsibility for our lives, for who we are as individuals. 

What does count is how we deal with who and what we are, the circumstances that God has chosen for us.  We need to take that and bear the right fruits, which are the virtues – especially faith, hope, and charity but also such other virtues as patience, humility, forbearance, gentleness, meekness, and generosity.  God hopes to see us share the gifts that He gives us, share the wealth of love that He offers.  He expects us to show a humble daily repentance and to trust in Him as we try to live a new life in Him.

This is MY life, MY responsibility.  And this is what God is looking for from us, not the evil fruits that the gospel lists. 

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