One Way Outside. Another Way Inside. | Word from the Shepherd No. 147

25th Ordinary Sunday B
Wis.2:1-20; James 3:16-4:3; Mk.9:30-37

A church deacon was trying to impress a class of boys the importance of living the Christian life. He said, “Why do people call me a Christian?” After a moment’s pause, one youngster said, “Maybe it’s because they don’t really know you.”

Can a person be one way on the outside and different on the inside?

Traditional Catholic moral theology teaches us that ‘we act out of who we are’. We live each day in a way that fits our ‘who we are’. We act the way we do largely  because the external conditions challenge us to reveal the habits we have formed, the beliefs we hold, the image we have of ourselves, the ideals we aspire to, and our perception of what is going on. Our character determines our doing, not some principles we apply. Whatever we do spring forth from who we are, from our spiritual being. Only then we would do the right things for the right reasons.

The scriptures today present 2 situations.

Where the godless rule, divisions, destruction and desecration take place.

While the virtuous, they serve. They do not rule. What follows is harmony, healing and holiness.

But the virtuous suffer at the hands of the godless. There is much cruelty, persecution, wars and battles vented out by the godless. Why does this happen?

  1. The virtuous, by their way of life, annoy the godless, who resort to testing the virtuous, their works and even their God.
  2. Jealousy, ambitions, desires, wants and indulgent lifestyles drives us to covet. There is no more prayer and dependence on God. The godless grab.
  3. The desire to be the “greatest”, makes us forget  the way of humility, the servant and the cross. Ambitions obscure our original call, purpose and destiny. Ambition triggers off the ambitions of  others, which will eventually rupture the community.

The Wisdom writer, James or Jesus lived the “who we are”. They lived from the spiritual being, and so they did the right thing for the right reasons.

The Wisdom writer saw himself as God’s Son, God’s word and God’s way.

James called them the “peacemakers”, they were filled with wisdom, compassion, kindness, with no partiality nor hypocrisy. These people prayed.

Jesus taught the “ way of the servant”. These viewed themselves as the “last of all”, the servant of all, who welcomed the little, welcomed Christ and welcomed the Sender.

How can we describe ourselves? We are like the coin with 2 sides.

In Asia people seek holy men and women;

‘whose minds and hearts are set on the deep things of the Spirit’ (Rom 8:5);

whose identity is intertwined with holiness;

who are  close to God like His sons or daughters;

who are peacemakers and servants like Christ.

The 3 essentials of Holiness : prayer, service and sacrifice ie.
prayer is connection,
service is compassion and
sacrifice is the cross.

What we are on the inside is what we are on the outside.