Holy Family

Holy Family

Friday, August 10, 2012

Feast of Saint Lawrence

Good morning. I would dare to say that the greatest obstacle that any of us face on our journey toward holiness is that of ourselves. One of the most challenging things, that which we are being called to in this morning’s Gospel, is overcoming our inclination toward self-deception. It is quite tempting for most of us to live our lives in pursuit of self-glorification. We are called in the words of Jesus today to earnestly make an effort at living a life of holiness. How often we fool ourselves into believing we fit the bill; we pretend to be living this life of holiness we are called to but all the while doing whatever we need to do to get ahead, to attend to our own self. We witness this inconsistency all the time. We see it daily. The person sporting a luxury SUV with a “Green Is Good” decal on their bumper, or the person with a coexist decal cutting us off in traffic, or the person willing to throw us to the curb at the first opportunity to advance their own needs. The reason the Catholic Church is the secular world's Enemy Number One is because she refuses to compromise her teachings on sexuality and marriage. Yet, our lives are not always as consistent. How often we hear people say, "Well, I don't believe everything the Church teaches." How consistent are we to imitating Christ in our own lives? Clearly the righteous person we present on the outside doesn’t always match with the person we truly are on the inside. So often there is an incongruity between the person we present ourselves to be and that of our real choices and actions. Yet, we do or say what we need to rationalize the duplicity in our lives. This duplicity is seen in all aspects of our life including our marriage. 

In the sacrament of marriage we are forever challenged with the task of escaping our own selves and attempting to make our way in to the world of our other. This is no easy task. Because of our humanness, to understand that our spouse and our spouse’s thoughts and feelings are two different things can be quite challenging. This notion of feeling into that life experience of our other is something which more times than not escapes us, for to do so we must first escape ourselves. In order to truly enter into the We of our marital relationship we must first remove ourselves from the I of ourselves. Not an easy task, and because of our sinfulness not often possible, and without God’s grace impossible. Yet, that is precisely what we are called to, not just in marriage but in whatever journey we find ourselves. Jesus in today's Gospel says: "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” To “die” to oneself whatever does that mean? It means to escape our own self and enter into God’s way. In our day-to-day existence, it means living lives of integrity, being the same person on the inside and outside. In marriage it means to escape our own self-righteousness, to accept our own inadequacy and humbly walk next to our other. Jesus assures us that in order to have true life in Him we must escape life in this world, we must escape living in the world of I. Saint Lawrence, whose life we celebrate today, gave his very life rather than forfeit the treasure of his faith in Christ. So too in marriage, for it to be successful we must escape the world of I and discover the world of We. The true treasure of our marriage is in living it with Christ at its center. Discover the world of We today. Make a great day! 

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and work of Saint Lawrence.

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