Saturday 1st Week in Ordinary Time 2022
LIFE CAN BE A MAZE WITH NO WAY OUT.
It wasn’t long after I was ordained a priest, I began hearing fifth steps in a chemical dependency unit. After an alcoholic or drug addict made a Fourth Step Inventory on their life, they shared their strengths and character defects with a clergy person. If the person was honest, taking responsibility for their defects and sins, they were set free. What a beautiful moment. The direction of their life changed entirely and remained that way if they continued to get support.
If they did not take responsibility for their behaviors but blamed someone or something else, nothing would change in their life. I invited them to go back and work with their counselor to make a better fourth step. Some of the scribes and Pharisees in the gospel today had difficulty making their own fourth-step inventory. Jesus knew it and invited them to follow Him, but no repentance, no following.
There were, however, tax collectors and prostitutes and sinners of all kinds who knew they had enough of their nonsense, so to speak. They saw in Jesus someone who did not condemn them and push them away, and he offered them mercy by sitting down and having a meal with them. There was no fear in these sinners to confess their sins to Jesus, and their hearts were free to follow Jesus through repentance and mercy him.
What may be lurking in the shadows of your life? Is it suffocating your love for God and other people, even yourself? Why not walk in the steps of others who follow Jesus and live in freedom? A good question that helps me examine my conscience and make my inventory is this, “Am I giving God and other people in my life what is their due?” After you make your inventory, confess your sins to a priest and start following Jesus.
IGNITE THE FIRE
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC