Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

(Romans 1:1-7; Luke 11:29-32)

This epithet was once given for a foolish man: “He is often wrong but never in doubt.” Unfortunately sometimes humans are reluctant to even recognize the possibility of having erred. Even when faced with the loss of family or life, for example, some alcoholics refuse to admit the inability to control their intake of liquor. Yet recognition of one’s faults and the courage to change are necessary for positive growth. Winston Churchill stated the process well: “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” Jesus tells us something similar in the gospel today.

The people whom Jesus addresses are not what we would consider bad people. They are not thieves, murderers, adulterers, or the like. But they do identify God’s will with their own ways of thinking. Samaritans, they might say, are damned because they do not worship correctly. People are poor, they may add, because they have sinned. Jesus tries to correct these mistaken ideas with fundamentally two parallel truths: God is love and God wants humans to love one another. These truths, however, run against the human tendency to see God as a judge given to punishment and to love others

We cannot escape the sinful human situation with its prejudices. But we can change our positions when we find them in error. The key is to discover the sources that will reveal the truth to us and indicate the ways we need to change.