Sunday, October 23, 2011

Charity to Go Beyond Ourselves

Today we are faced with a terrible disease: egotism.  It is the most predominant form of idolatry in our time that bears the commandment: love thyself, serve thyself, worship thyself.  In today's readings for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jesus shows us how to overcome self-idolatry with true charity that is love of God and of neighbor.

Listen to my homily for today:

If you have trouble listening click here.

In our first reading we learn to come to the aid of the widow and the orphan and in the second we learn to live lives free of idolatry.  St James sums up nicely when he says,
"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world."
True charity, to love God above all things and to love one's neighbor as oneself consists in living this way. It is not easy.  We are tempted to selfishness, to narcissistic self-concern and preoccupation with our own condition.  That is why the Holy Eucharist which we receive both is where we offer our charitable works to God in purity of heart and also where we receive the strength to be charitable.  Jesus is Charity itself, love Incarnate, the Father's Love made visible in the world.  When we receive him with humble faith, by a gift of his love he fills our hearts with the charity we need to love the poor, beginning with the poor ones in our very own homes.

May Our Lady, mother of divine Charity, help us to follow the law of God that we may love one another as Christ has loved us.

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