June 13, 2013


Daily Mass Readings of Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua

"Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him." (Matthew 5:23-24)

The Gospel from the Scriptures at today's Mass challenge us. However, the true challenge of Matthew 5:23-24 isn't found in the call to forgive and be reconciled. Rather, the challenge of today's Gospel is with our becoming too familiar. It's easy for us to become familiar with the sacred. We hear the Scriptures often; we go to Mass regularly; we take for granted the sacred because we're around it so often. It's easy for us to forget the awe that is the sacred.

Nothing kills a marriage faster than when couples become so familiar with each other that they take each other for granted. Nothing kills a friendship faster that when we become so familiar with someone's generosity that we come to expect it.

When you and I become so familiar with God we tend to lower God to our level rather than elevate our lives to His level. Therefore, because we are so familiar with God we may think that today's Gospel challenge of forgiveness and reconciliation is "bit extreme". It's easy of us to rationalize, "God doesn't expect me to be a saint, does He?"

Are you still in awe of the sacred? Are you still in awe of the Bible? Are you still in awe of the Mass? Are you still in awe of God? Or ... have you become so familiar with God that you've lost your awe?

© Fr. Mark Toups, 2013

Today @ IPF:

The 169 seminarians in the Seminarians Summer Program are in two classes.

In their first class, 502: Celibacy and Sexuality, the men will learn more about how Saint Joseph is their model for chastity and celibacy, especially in regards to loving the Church (which is modeled in the Blessed Mother). In their second class, 503: Spirituality of Diocesan Priesthood, the men are introduced the five benchmark "identities" of the Diocesan Priesthood: (1) beloved son, (2) celibate spouse, (3) spiritual father, (4) spiritual physician, and (5) good shepherd.

Flying back to Louisiana today to be at Christ the Redeemer this weekend. Looking forward to seeing y'all this weekend.

Today's Quote from B16:

"If we call Jesus the one universal Mediator of salvation, this does not mean that we despise other religions, nor that we are arrogantly proposing the absolutism of our own ideas; on the contrary, it means that we are gripped by Him Who has touched our hearts and lavished gifts upon us, so that we, in turn, can offer gifts to others."
- Homily, Marian Shrine of Mariazell, Austria, September 8, 2007