Mass Readings: August 23

First: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
Resp: Psalm 139:1-3,4-6
Gospel: Matthew 23:23-26

GULP!

"You strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!" –Matthew 23:24

The Pharisees have long been gone, but many still swallow camels today. You may be a modern-day Pharisee if:

  • You lead the fight to have kneelers in your church but continue to vote for pro-abortion politicians.
  • You often hint that you want your spouse to lose weight but neglect for months at a time to say "I love you."
  • You pray for your kids to have a personal relationship with Jesus but continue to allow them to be exposed to hours of MTV, pagan music, and network TV each week.
  • You pray the Our Father for God's will to be done in your life (Mt 6:10), but use artificial birth control or sterilization so that He can't do His will in your life.
  • You criticize people for dressing immodestly while maintaining an adulterous relationship (see Rm 2:22).
  • You bash your parish priest for boring homilies and "dead" liturgies but then strain out the very Bread of Life, Jesus Himself in the Eucharist (Jn 6:35), and abandon the Catholic Church because you "aren't being fed."

If we concentrate hard enough on the gnats, sometimes when we swallow, the camel goes down our throats so easily we don't even notice that we've swallowed the big one. "For all these reasons, let anyone who thinks he is standing upright watch out lest he fall!" (1 Cor 10:12) Repent!

PRAYER: Jesus, wash me clean from the inside out (Mt 23:26).
PROMISE: "Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know the whole of it." –Ps 139:4
PRAISE: When disallowed by her parents to enter a convent, St. Rose served God wholeheartedly within the confines of her family home.