Gospel, Matthew 13:47-53 49 This is how it will be at the end of time: the angels will appear and separate the wicked from the upright…
The rejection of evil a powerful thing. Still, what if that evil hits close to home? Maybe it’s because of the rally on Tuesday, (Women Betrayed), but I am thinking of all those women who came to me when I was director of Project Rachel. These women told stories of family member rejection.
I am thinking of the moms I have journeyed with who caught their children in compromising situation with drugs, trouble with the law, or sex.
I am thinking of the women who come to speak with me who tell stories of wounds so deep that they believe God will never forgive them.
Certainly if you sit in a pew at any Mass and your heart is heavy, you will hear condemnation. That is because that is where your heart is, not how God sees you.
If we have not dealt with those wounded places in our lives; those places that cause us to hide from God as Adam and Eve did when they were naked in the Garden, then we see only our offense. So, we ask, is this Gospel only about throwing out the wicked and keeping the good? Does that mean there is no way to change, we are just condemned to be throw out?
No, of course not.
Read further in the Gospel and Jesus says: 51 And he said to them, ‘Well then, every scribe who becomes a disciple of the kingdom of Heaven a householder who brings out from his storeroom new things as well as old.’
New things for old. New habits for old. New perspectives for old. New ways of communicating and viewing fallen away family members. New ways of self-speaking with ourselves.
In the Psalms, we read for Lent there is great wisdom on how to create this transformation.
- First: we recognize our woundedness, our sin, our turning away from all who love us. This we do out of deep guilt.
- Second: we recognize that God is merciful. He is slow to anger. We can also be slow to anger if we acknowledge the emotion but put it aside for a moment to hear the other person out, or to hear ourselves out when we pray and self-talk with ourselves.
- Third: we have to be truthful with ourselves about what we have done. We may recognize we are wounded or sinful, but recognizing is different then saying: “Yes this is what I have done!” Once we understand what we have done, how it has affected us and those around us we can begin to make major changes. That is what the Psalmist means when he wrote: Ps 51:5 For I know my transgressions; my sin is always before me.
- Fourth: God’s Grace and healing. Ps 51:3 Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love; in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions. This is what happens in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We speak with our Priest. God, through him, speaks to us of ways to start to heal, to start to change. Ps 51:8 Behold, you desire true sincerity; and secretly you teach me wisdom.
For today, my prayer for all of us is that we bring out of our storerooms the old and new, change the old and rejoice in the new.