From Our Associate Pastor
How many of us practice what we believe, say, profess, and preach? Surely Jesus is not only addressing the disciples, teachers of the Law, and the Pharisees, but he is also addressing all of us who call ourselves Catholic Christians. It is very easy to criticize and correct Pope Francis, the bishops, priests, and deacons when they do not practice what they believe and preach. My question is: don’t all baptized Catholic Christians have the same responsibility and obligation?
Of course. Every Catholic Christian has the same obligation and responsibility for the simple fact of being baptized.
Unfortunately, sometimes, we only apply this law to Pope Francis, the bishops, priests, and deacons. If we are baptized and practicing Catholic Christians, we should evaluate our lives, look in front of a mirror before criticizing and correcting, and seriously ask ourselves if we practice what we believe, profess, and preach. How wonderful and fabulous would it be if all of us who call ourselves Catholic Christians, practiced what we say, having Jesus as our example and role model. It would be a more just, brotherly, supportive, compassionate, and kind world.
The next time we read the Bible and are praying, it would be very beneficial to ask ourselves the question if we are aware of what we are reading and praying. Jesus always gives us the answers to what we are looking for in the Bible and when we pray. The problem is that we only want to read and listen to what is convenient for us. If we want to have credibility in what we demand or entreat of others, then we should be the first to set the example, with our works and actions. Let’s pay close attention to what Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel: “They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. All their works are performed to be seen.” (Saint Matthew 23, 4-5).
It is one thing to say and not do it; It’s another thing to say and do it. Could it be that we identify with what Jesus says to his listeners and followers? It would be very interesting to examine the words and actions that we carry out every day. And if we do what we say and put it into practice, we are on the right path to earning the eternal life that Jesus proposes to us. If we are not already doing what we believe, profess, and read in the Bible, it is never too late to start. Let’s not waste the opportunities that our God gives us every day because perhaps they could be the last and they will not return. Every day that God gives us is to give the best version of ourselves. Let us not leave the opportunities to practice what we say, believe, and profess for when we are dying and bedridden without being able to speak or move.
I hope that we begin to put into practice what Jesus tells us in his word every time we come to the Holy Eucharist or every time we read the Bible. As baptized Catholic Christians, let us be aware of what we say, believe, and profess and thus be able to put it into practice with the help of our God. “With God, everything is possible. Without God nothing is possible.” “God will always put his maximum and we always put our minimum.” When we want to do or undertake something, first, let us entrust God, and He will guide and enlighten us to put into practice what we believe, profess, and say.
With love and respect, Fray Alberto Villafán, OFM
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