November 5, 2017
Below is an audio clip which I hope will be of help. Simply click on it.
Audio Clip by Fr. Doug click on following..... Download 31 Sunday
God's Chosen People were released from their exile in Babylon in 538 BC and rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem in 515 BC. Slowly they have turned away from God. Only a small remnant remains faithful. Even the priests have not done what they were called to do; to help the people turn to God. So, Malachi, around 450 BC, preaches to them. We hear his words in the first reading.
Remember that each of us in our baptism were annointed to be prophet, priest, and king. We too were called to make God present for others.
In the Gospel we hear a similar message to Malachai's, as Jesus addresses the Pharisees.
They are considered learned, chosen, religious leaders. But they have let their pride get the better of them. They like being chosen, being important, being leaders.
If we stop and think about this is our own lives; isn't it easy, especially for us who are practicing Catholics, who go to Mass regularly, who volunteer, who do all things right, etc., to judge those who struggle with their faith.
It is so easy to think that I have faith because I have done all the right things.
This was the Pharisees and that same mentality can be alive in each of us now and then.
When Jesus confronted the Pharisees it was to help them see their pride, their sins, but they refused for they thought that they were holy and wise and more learned than others in the law. They would not convert.
For me, the blessing is to be able, through this Word, to see that at times, I too am filled with pride. That at times, I fail to make God present to others through my compassion, my mercy, my forgiveness.
Please God, convert me; change my heart.
Once again, St Paul addresses this Christian Community and praises them that they have been faithful to the message they had received. I am sure they too had difficulties. That they too had sinned.
But they continue to make God present for other. They never gave up.
The Thessalonians did not give up and neither should we, even in our darkest moments.
Let us not be afraid of our failures, our sins, but when we see them, pray for God to change our heart; to convert us.
Let us continue to pray that in spite of all, we will fulfill our call at baptism to be prophet, priest, and king; to make God present in the world for all we meet.