Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus used the parable in today’s Gospel to denounce those who flash about external signs of internal virtue. True religion is not show-off piety, ostentatious humility, sham sanctimony. Every religious attitude must be rooted deep within the heart, where conscious sinfulness and the need for personal conversion thrive. Impressive ideas, yes? Yes!

But we are not moved so much by ideas as by ideals, the incarnation of ideas. That is why Jesus probably pointed out to us the woman putting the only coins she had into the collection box. We speak about helping the poor. The real desire to help the poor is expressed in sharing what one has. For idealists to attempt living like the economic poor is show-off piety or maybe like little girls playing house.

Who are the real poor in our society today? A recent study of the Pew Research Center shows that religious practice among Catholics has declined and that this is particularly evident among the young. Am I aware of this? What do I know about Focus, the Newman Society and bishops trying to reform Catholic grade and high schools? What can I do that I am not doing for the really poor young Catholics in our society, particularly those in so-called Catholics schools?

November 8th, 2015