Readings for Sunday, March 30
I think that today’s gospel about the healing of the blind man is more about spiritual healing than about physical healing – at least as it applies to us, the modern-day readers. Our world is in desperate need of spiritual healing. People are looking for truth, love and happiness in all the wrong places. Today’s gospel reading shows us the love and mercy of Jesus – it paints a very loving, empathetic picture of our God. If only the world would come to believe and to trust in the one Healer.
I also thought of how we spend very little time thinking about our sinfulness. We tend to think, “Hey, I don’t break any of the commandments, therefore I must be doing well.” Some don’t even reflect that far. Everything has become o.k. “as long as you’re not hurting anyone.” As the body of Christ – His adopted children – when one part of the body hurts, we all suffer. It would do us good to spend a bit of time meditating on the passion of Christ – how he suffered terribly for our sin. Each time we sin, it’s like driving the nail into His tender hands.
This is an examination of conscience that I’ve used with my teens, based on the ten commandments. Each is significantly more far-reaching than would originally appear:
- I am the Lord Your God. You shall not have any other gods besides me.
_____Do you put God first in your life? Do you love anyone or anything more than you love God?
_____Are you ever indifferent or lukewarm about your faith? _____Are you ever ungrateful for the gifts God has given you?
_____Do you make time for prayers everyday, a few times a day?
_____Do you show respect for the sacraments, and prepare yourself properly to receive Holy Communion?
_____Do you put God and church activities before social activities, parties, sports practices, etc.?
_____Do you idolize movie/rock stars/musicians?
_____Do you participate in superstitions and believe them?
_____ Do you play Ouija board, participate in séances, visit palm
readers or fortune tellers?
- Thou shall not take the name of the Lord in vain.
_____Do you use God’s name casually or in vain – not in prayer
or in praise? (Jesus’ name?)
_____Do you watch movies/plays/read books that use God’s name
in vain? (Jesus’ name?)
_____Have you swore, cursed or used crude/profane language?
_____Have you called anyone an unkind name?
- Keep holy the Sabbath.
_____ Do you attend mass on Sundays/the Saturday vigil?
_____Do you say negative things about the Church/your church,
your priests? Do you pray for them?
_____ Do you fast one hour before receiving Holy Communion?
_____Do you participate as best as you can in mass?
_____Do you try to avoid unnecessary work/shopping on the Sabbath?
- Honor thy Father and Mother.
_____Do you disrespect your parents/teachers/grandparents/people
in authority in your life?
_____Do you ignore your parents or grumble when they ask you to do
_____Do you say negative things about your parents?
_____Do you try to be of help to them?
_____Do you pray for them?
- Thou shall not kill.
_____Do you ever wish that something bad would happen to someone?
_____Do you hate or despise anyone?
_____Do you tease/fight with others?
_____Have you intentionally hurt another physically/mentally (feelings)?
_____Do you take care of your body?
_____Do you pray for the unborn/the dead/the elderly? (respect for life)
- Thou shall not commit adultery.
_____ Do you show respect for members of the opposite sex as being persons with equal dignity?
_____Do you hang posters of immodestly dressed “stars” on your walls?
_____Do you dress modestly?
_____Do you listen to or tell suggestive jokes/stories?
- Thou shall not steal.
_____ Have you copied another’s homework/test answer?
_____Have you wasted time that you were supposed to be doing
a job, chore or homework?
_____Have you taken something from a store without paying?
_____Have you borrowed something, broken it and not replaced it?
_____Do you try to return lost things to their rightful owners?
_____If you receive allowance, do you give part of it to church, to the
poor box or to a charity?
_____Have you read someone’s diary or private writing without his/her permission?
- Though shall not bear false witness against they neighbor.
_____Have you spread gossip about another person?
_____Have you listened to gossip without standing up for that person?
(the subject of the gossip)
_____ Do you judge other people by their physical appearances?
_____Do you assume things (the worst) about other people without knowing for sure?
_____Have you held a grudge against someone who has hurt you without trying to forgive?
_____Have you lied?
_____Have you exaggerated a story to make it more interesting?
_____Have you bragged about something to make others feel inferior?
IX. Thou shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
X. Thou shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.
_____Are you jealous of anyone?
_____Do you envy another’s possessions, gifts, talents, beauty, etc?
_____Do you manipulate people to get something you want?
_____Are you content with the gifts God has given you, or do you always want more/better?
_____Do you give of your time and talent to help others?
To summarize: Ask yourself – How have you acted Christ-like? How have you failed to act as Christ would act in any given situation?
The great news is that there is spiritual healing for us. Through reconciliation, we can live in the grace of God once again.
As we enter the final few weeks of lent, let us not only remember what we “gave up,” but let us seek God’s healing in our lives.