- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

February 13, 2018

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO [1]

6th Tuesday in Ordinary Time
James 1: 12 – 18; Ps 92; Mark 8: 14 – 1

St. James writes: “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers and sisters” – but we might counter: “easier said than done.” People do not always recognize the fact that they are being deceived. There are always the “fast talkers” – those who have a gift – a questionable gift, for sure, of convincing others to buy this or to do that and only for personal gain. Everyday people experience and fall into scams and sometimes, sad to say, suffer a great loss.

There is another form of deceiving – called self-deception. We can deceive ourselves in thinking we are better than anyone else or at the other end, deceive ourselves by considering ourselves to be the worst of the worst – one is a huge ego-trip and the other is a huge false humility.

Self-deception is a great obstacle to repentance and growth in grace; by its very nature it limits a good, healthy, life-giving relationship with God. Self-deception can be a denial – not admitting a weakness, a sin, a need – it is of a form of blindness. Self-deception can be living with excuses, with rationalizations, with a watered down notion of God’s word because given our flawed humanity, anything is possible.

Only when we choose to live the truth, when we desire to be transparent before God, only when we desire to live in God’s light, can the Lord grace us with His redeeming love because God redeems reality not illusion. Illusion, a mind game, does not exist in reality.

St. James writes, “…all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow or change. He willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of first fruits of His creatures.” God desires only good for us – that His desires become reality in our lives – deception of any form can have no place.

We are created for the Truth and only the Truth can set us free for God’s gift – His very Self.