Fr. Pecchie's Messge 10/10/21

Imagine that you are in a cafe holding a mug full of warm coffee. Now, you like coffee and are used to coffee, but in the back of your mind you are convinced that there may be something that will satisfy your thirst better than coffee. So you bring your mug up to the counter and ask for a drink of something more satisfying.
The man at the counter says, "Sure! We have just the thing a special brew. It tastes fantastic, fills you up with energy, and lasts the whole day long." But when he reaches for your mug, you hesitate. You have never tried this special brew, and you are a little suspicious: What if it's not as good as the man says it is? Maybe you should just stick with what’s familiar. You can't have both, because you only have one mug. To get the special brew, you would have to pour out the warm coffee.
That's the situation this rich young man finds himself in. His mug is full of wealth and possessions. Jesus is offering him true, lasting wisdom instead, promising that it will give him the satisfaction his money hasn't given him, but he hesitates, afraid to take the risk. It's an image that helps us understand the nature of sin in general.
Sin is putting something in God's place; putting something that ought to be second place into first place; filling our mug with warm coffee when God really gave us the mug so that we could drink His special brew. The Seven Capital (Deadly) Sins identify the seven most common "somethings" that we tend to put in God's place, seven brands of warm coffee, so to speak. These “somethings” are good in themselves, but they become obstacles to our happiness when we give them first place...PAGGLES
Pride puts our own achievements in God's place, as if they were capable of giving us the meaning and fulfillment that only comes from God.
Anger puts our own self-will in God's place ("my way or the highway!").
Gluttony puts the pleasures of food, drink, or drugs in the mug.
Greed, as in the case of this rich young man, idolizes money.
Lust puts sexual pleasure in God's place.
Envy puts our reputation or popularity before God.
Sloth puts our comfort before God.
Unless we pour out the warm coffee, whichever brand it may be, we simply won't have room in our souls for the special brew that brings true satisfaction.
True wisdom keeps God in first place in our lives. It never lets the false promises of worldly success or wealth interfere with our following Christ and His commandments. But we live in a fallen world, a world in which greed often seems more powerful than wisdom.
Greed is directly involved in all the tragedies of our times: human trafficking, war, abortion, the drug trade, genocide, political corruption...these horrible realities are hard to get rid of, because someone, somewhere, is getting rich off them. Patterns of greed also contribute to periods of economic hardship not only greed among financial and political leaders, but also our own irresponsible tendencies to spend money we don't have, creating unhealthy debt.
How can we grow in true wisdom when we are surrounded by these subtle seductions of a consumer society. Today’s Second Reading gives us an answer. It reminds us that "the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword." The word of God is a weapon of wisdom, good to defend against temptations and to cut away obstacles and difficulties. Where do we find the word of God? Most readily, we find it in the Bible, the inspired word of God, recorded, preserved, and interpreted for us by the Church.
It is true that God demands a lot from us, because He loves us. But He never asks us to walk the path of wisdom alone. He accompanies us with His gifts, like prayer, the sacraments, Church teaching, and the Bible.
Let us respond to Christ's look of love by renewing our conviction that only He can give us the happiness we long for, and by renewing our commitment to strive to know and follow Him better every day, using the Bible as our preferred weapon of wisdom.


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