Ordinary Time, 8th Sunday (C)

Should we abolish the priesthood? Should we abolish the police? How can we stop "toxic masculinity"?

The police, along with doctors, lawyers, clergy, and soldiers, were known as "professions." They are given special knowledge and privileges and they play by special rules. The word profession comes from the oath one took when assuming one of these roles. The person taking on the roll had to promise before God and society that they would use these special powers for the good of others (their congregation, patients, clients, citizens) and not for their own selfish benefit.

Our culture has changed. We now take it for granted that we're all in it for ourselves. We have a hard time believing that police or clergy, or any of the other professions are really living for others.

Think of our image of manhood. Manhood achieves its true purpose in protecting and providing for others who are more vulnerable. Your masculinity is a gift and it is meant to be given away for the good of others. The perfection of manhood is spiritual fatherhood.

Christians have a standard, and his name is Jesus. He tells us, "No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher." We are called to be like Jesus, and that means a life of self-giving love.

How are we doing with loving God and loving our neighbor? Most of us are pretty good at looking good most of the time. Jesus invites us to look deeper, beyond, "Am I doing the right thing?" to, "Where is my heart?" We can subtly turn even good things like the priesthood into quiet self-service. You will be a blind guide until Jesus opens your eyes. Let him heal your faults first before you try to help others.

(27 Feb 2022)

Going Deeper: What sacrifices are you planning for Lent? Will those sacrifices help you to love God more and love your neighbor more, or will they increase your pride and self-righteousness? Spend a few minutes asking God what He wants you to do, or not do, for Lent this year.

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