Christian Character

Homily by Fr. David A. Runnion for September 20, 2015

Homily by Fr. David A. Runnion, September 20, 2015, 25thSunOrdB.

__________________________________________________________________________

A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, 5-year-old Kevin and 3-year-old Ryan. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. The mother saw an opportunity for a lesson in Christian character. She said, "If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, 'Let my brother have the first pancake. I can wait.' " At that, Keven turned to his younger brother and said, "Ryan, you be Jesus!"

God's word today provides a lesson in Christian character. As Christ's followers, we are called to live righteous lives, not living selfishly or according to the passions of the flesh, but serving others and being virtuous.[1] And, God alerts us that as we seek to live a virtuous life, we will be tested and reviled by others, as was our Master.[2] Yet, with the Lord's grace and assistance, we must help raise society's moral standards and character.[3]

This begins with admitting our own weaknesses, so we can rightly develop our Christian character. The Catechism says: "unless man acknowledges that he is a sinner he cannot know the truth about himself, which is a condition for acting justly; and without the offer of forgiveness he would not be able to bear this truth."[4] "The virtuous man is he who freely practices the good."[5]

One aid in this process can be reviewing vices versus virtues, to re-clarify the moral spectrum. So, I have prepared a Table listing the seven deadly or capital sins, and opposing virtues: Copies are in the Narthex if anyone would like one, and will be on our Website (under "Homilies"), but a little review now.

SEE Table of CAPITAL SINS AND CONTRARY VIRTUES.

This week, let us:

1. Consider working on overcoming a particular sin or vice; then

2. Identify an opposing virtue and, with the Lord's help, practice that virtue this week.

Jesus says, "If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all."[6] As we seek to grow in a virtuous life this week, let us strive to "be Jesus" by, among other things, letting our brother have the first pancake.

 

[1] See Mk 9:33-37 (reflecting the innocence of a child); Jm 3.

[2] See Jn 15:20; Wis 2:12, 17-20.

[3] See Ps 54:3-6, 8.

[4] CCC 1697.

[5] CCC 1804 ("The moral virtues are acquired by human effort. They are the fruit and seed of morally good acts; they dispose all the powers of the human being for communion with divine love").

[6] Mk 9:35.

Tags: homily, clergy corner
 

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