Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Reflection for the 7th Week in Ordinary Time, Part 2

Thursday – Presumption

In today's first reading the author of the book of Sirach cautions us against presumption. Presumption occurs when people feel free to go ahead and sin because they think that God will just forgive the sin no matter what anyway.

Presumptuous people say things like, “I have sinned, yet what has befallen me?” They think they will not have to face the consequences of their sins. They rationalize like this: “Great is His mercy; my many sins He will forgive.” While this statement is true, for God's mercy is great and He does forgive sins, it should not make people think that they can just go ahead and commit as many sins as they want. This is presumption. God does forgive, but sin still has consequences.

The opposite of presumption is a repentant heart that feels true contrition for sin, confesses it, and vows not do it again. We must always trust in God's mercy, but we must also work hard to avoid sin, grow in virtue, and follow the moral law. God loves to forgive us, but He does not want us to keep on sinning. We must break the pattern of sin in our lives and ask God for the grace to do His will always and everywhere.

Friday – Discernment

“Give me discernment, that I may observe Your law and keep it with all my heart.”

Discernment is the act of seeing and knowing the reality of things. When we discern something, we seek the truth about it. We gather data and evidence; we consider them carefully; we ask for advice as necessary, especially from God; and we come to a conclusion.

We are required to discern many things: our path in life, our relationships, our activities, and especially our moral choices. A large part of mature moral responsibility involves discernment. We must discern the application of God's moral law to all the varying circumstances of our lives.

First, we get to know God's law. We read the Scriptures. We become acquainted with God's teaching through the Church. We form our consciences based on the reality of God's will.

Then we consider the situations we face and discern how to apply that moral law. We decide how best to act in accordance with the law. Sometimes we ask for help when circumstances are complex and confusing. Sometimes we might discern wrongly. But we have to make our best possible effort to do the right thing in the right way always.

And no matter what, we must always pray: Lord, give me discernment, that I may observe Your law and keep it with all my heart.

Saturday – Childlike

Jesus, You said that “whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.”
Make me like a child.
Give me, please, a childlike trust in You.
Give me, please, a childlike habit of running straight to You with all my problems and worries.
Give me, please, a childlike innocence.
Give me, please, a childlike wonder, a childlike delight.
Give me, please, a childlike vision that sees the best in people.
Give me, please, a childlike faith that doesn't hesitate to believe.
Give me, please, a childlike hope that You will provide me with all the best all the time.
Give me, please, a childlike love that clings to You.
Make me like a child, Lord, that I may enter the Kingdom of God.

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