27 Aug 2021

This Week Letter – August 29, 2021

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XXII Sunday in Ordinary Time

For from within, from the human heart, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, greed, perversity, deceit, debauchery, jealousy, insults, pride, and stupidity. All this evil from within comes and makes a man unclean ”Mk 7: 21-23

At one of the Wednesday audiences in the Vatican, the Pope, referring to the above passage, said: “All sins are born of evil desire, begin from the heart, and end with a misconduct that hurts ourselves and others.” This craving is a consequence of the lie with which Satan tempted the first parents, convincing them that if they disobey and eat the fruit of knowledge between good and evil, they will become like God. Therefore, again and again, despite our efforts and aspirations to do good, evil occurs in us and then we relate to Saint Paul: “… it is easy for me to want what is good, but not to do it. For I do not do the good that I want, but I do the evil that I do not want. But if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

The first parents were lacking in humility, obedience to God’s commands, and unfortunately this tendency continues in all people to this day. That is why we need healing. When we lack humility God places us in an opportune situation where we may notice that we cannot rely on ourselves and that we actually need God. Humility is the foundation for building all the other virtues that culminate in our holiness. The lack of humility and self-reliance lead to confusion and imposes “the spirit of Pharisee-ism” or hypocrisy. This is why Jesus reprimanded the Pharisees saying, “they set aside God’s command to keep to human tradition.” Therefore it is vital for us to cling to the Gospel in its purest message and not add anything from ourselves. The Word received in such a way gives real freedom and healing. St. James writes in his letter: Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls…”