A clean conscience is what God wants

Saint Theresa of Liseux once said that “The value of life does not depend upon the place we occupy, but upon the way we occupy that place.”Over the past few weeks we have read and heard Jesus chastise the Pharisees for placing great importance on outward appearances. They loved to have the place of honor at banquets. They liked to be greeted with respect in the market place. Jesus saw into their minds and hearts. He pointed out the exaggerated importance that they attached to the outward, to the physical.

The Pharisees believed that a man was pure in God’s eyes when he observed the rules of ritual purity, by cleansing the outside of the cup or dish. However, God is interested especially in moral cleanliness, about which the Pharisees gave little thought.  A person is clean in God’s eyes when his conscience has been purified of all injustice and immoral behavior.Jesus tells us that we should show compassion, kindness, love and understanding to others. We should help the poor, heal the sick, and lighten the burdens of the afflicted, do good towards others. If we do so, then we will be made clean. Purity, charity, rectitude, love of God and love of our neighbor–these are the things that make us great in the eyes of God.

Life is not about pain and making sure that the “fools of this world” are punished for their sins; life is about love and forgiving those who have trespassed against us. We are all connected to God, our Heavenly Father, but it is our choice to let him come into our lives and to let Him wholeheartedly change us. And just as Christ told the Pharisees that everything inside and outside comes from God, we, as well as all of our possessions, are all a part of God’s wonderful creation. So let us take every opportunity to thank someone, tell someone not only that we love them, but most of all, that God loves them and wants to get to know them. We are all loved and never forgotten by our Heavenly Father. We cannot earn the grace that God has freely given us so let us share it with others.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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