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Homily for Friday September 10, 2021

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO

Friday September 10, 2021

(1 Timothy 1: 1 – 22, 122 – 14; Ps. 16; Luke 6: 39 – 42)

The prophet Jeremiah wrote: “More tortuous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it? I, the Lord, alone probe the mind and test the heart to reward everyone according to his ways, according to the merit of his deeds.” (Jer 17: 9f)

In the Gospel Jesus speaks of the heart without using the word. There is the heart blind to itself yet ready and quick to point out the cause of others’ blindness, seeing the”splinter” yet missing through their own blindness not a just splinter but the beam in their own eye. It is acting in what appears concern or charity for another when, in fact, it is a personal cover-up, nothing more than self-aggrandizement at another’s expense.

How easy it is to find fault in another and evade the faults in one’s own heart. The tortuous heart Jeremiah speaks about is an evasive heart, evading truth, evading reality, searching, watching, keeping vigil over others. In the first reading St. Paul in humility admitted, “I was once a blasphemer, a persecutor and an arrogant man” – not merely splinters, rather beams – no evasion there, rather a very honest, humble confession.

If and when we evade the truth about ourselves, we evade our own personal reality and in rejecting the truth, the Truth Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ is rejected. The Lord, divine truth is dedicated to setting us free – sadly, evasion keeps one in bondage.

Receiving the living Truth in the Holy Eucharist and then rejecting the Truth in our daily relationships is like a child playing with a toy – at one moment enjoying the toy and in another casting it aside. Truly how tortuous and blind the heart can be.

Hopefully, by God’s grace and our desire our hearts are like the heart of the king in Proverbs 21: 1 – “Like a stream is the king’s heart in the hand of the Lord, wherever it pleases Him, He directs it.” (Pr 21: 1)