Monday, September 5, 2016

1 Corinthians 5:1-8, Psalm 5:5-7, 12, Luke 6:6-11


My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me. Jn 10:27

1 Corinthians 5:1-8, Psalm 5:5-7, 12, Luke 6:6-11

1 Corinthians 5:1-7

My soul's beloved, St. Paul reminds us today that there can be no compromise with grave sin. We cannot somehow twist lies and give them the appearance of truth  No matter how cleverly we use words and arguments to make our wickedness seem an inextricable part of who we are, or because it makes us happy to deny who we are, who God created and meant us to be, and live a lie and demand that those around us do the same it is still a hideous lie and a heinous offence against God.

The opening verses could so easily be spoken of the world we live in today. St. Paul writes, "You have become news with a case of immorality and such a case that is not even found among pagans." Immorality is widely celebrated in our culture today. He does not mince words when he says how sinners within the Church ought to be treated. He speaks boldly but the reason he does so is because he fears that the rest of the members of Your Body, does not get infected and it is for their sake as well as for the sake of the sinner that he says that they ought to be  expelled. 

St. Paul hopes that such stern measures may bring the sinner back to repentance and could then return to the fold.  We cannot tolerate even a little sin and whitewash it for then like a little yeast in unleavened bread we stand in danger of spoiling the whole batch. Our Eucharistic celebrations can be truly moments of great rejoicing if we truly pursue holiness and purity in our lives. 

Psalm 5:5-7, 12

My soul's beloved, the psalmist also confirms that St.Paul says to us today. You are not a God who delights in wickedness and there is no place for the kinds of sins that the world encourages and calls tolerance. Those who belong to the fringes with aberrations that the world in a more sensitive to Gospel values refused to accept as  truth now dictate with vicious, arrogant ferocity that we all comply with their definition of the new norms. However, Your Word is clear and while we may play with the intellect of humans we cannot play with the God of all righteousness and goodness. 

You promise that those who love You and stay unflinchingly faithful to end despite all the vicious attacks of the world; will find a refuge in You.  You Yourself will preserve, protect and deliver them from the hands of the enemy.
You are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil has no place in you.
The arrogant cannot stand before you. You hate all who do evil;
you destroy all who speak falsehood, who thirst for blood and live on lies; all of them the Lord detests. 
But for those who take refuge in you, let them ever sing and rejoice. Let your deliverance shield them, that they may praise you in gladness – those who love your name, O Lord.

Luke 6:6-11

My soul's beloved, today we read how on a Sabbath You cured a man whose right hand was paralyzed. We are told that You entered the Synagogue and while You were teaching You noticed the man. The pharisees watched hawkishly ready to pounce for they were certain You would heal the man and then they could trap You for breaking the law of Moses. So many things are wrong with their line of thought. Did it never occur to them that no one but God alone could heal as You did? Or did their prejudice close their minds completely to the truth much like the world we live in today? 

You knew their thoughts but neither political correctness nor fear of the authorities would deter You from doing what You came into the world to do. I love the sense of drama that You injected into the whole proceedings. You knew exactly what You would do and You knew exactly how the Pharisees would react. Surrounded by everyone in the Synagogue you said to the man, "Get up and stand in the middle." This way every eye would be on him and on You. Then You challenged them saying, "I want to ask you: what is allowed by the Law on the Sabbath, to do good or to do harm, to save life or destroy it?" Then You surveyed the crowd urging them to give the obvious answer to the question. The Pharisees were silent proving themselves too cowardly to answer as they knew they ought. So instead You spoke directly to the poor man saying, "Stretch out your hand." He did and his hand was restored becoming just as whole and strong as the left. Instead of praising You the Pharisees were furious much like our politically correct world who are prepared to twist their credibility into every preposterous shape as they try to shove the square pegs of truth into round shapes of lies.

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