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Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop

Scripture Readings: Philippians 2:12-18; Ps. 27: 1, 4, 13-14; Luke 14:25-33

My dear encountered couples:

You know how it can sometimes be with children. When their parents are looking, they can act like little angels. But when their parents are nowhere to be seen, the little angels become like devils. Can we sometimes be like that when we leave Mass?

While here in church we can become so uplifted in both soul and body by the all-embracing love of God that we pledge to live lives better even than the angels in heaven. But once outside the door, away from the atmosphere of the church and the influence of incense, how long do the feelings and pledges last? Even we, when it comes to God our Father and Mary our Mother, can be angels when we are uplifted in prayer by them, but devils when we come back down to earth.

As the real test for children is when their parents aren’t anywhere in sight, the real test for all of us as children of God is when we walk out the door of the church and re-enter the world of dog-eat-dog.

St. Paul certainly knows what I’m talking about. He seems to have experienced it with his early converts. Let us listen again to what he wrote to them:

“My dearly beloved, obedient as always to my urging, work with anxious concern to achieve your salvation, not only when I happen to be with you, but all the more now that I am absent.”

Was Paul getting reports that his converts weren’t exactly the shining examples they showed themselves to be when he was with them? We are not angels, we are people. But the People of God! Are we willing to do all we can to make him proud of us?

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