No One Now is Dutiful

Today’s readings:
James 3:1-10
Psalms 12:2-5, 7-8
Mark 9-13

The Holy Spirit gently warns me today with James 3:1-10. I should be careful with what I put on this blog. If I desire to be a teacher, then God will hold me to a higher standard. I will fall short, and my words may lead readers astray. Just as a large ship can be steered with a very small rudder in fierce winds, so can my apparently small words lead people down a wrong path. I should be careful about what I share, lest I cause scandal. I should take care not to preach, and leave that to priests. My goal should be to share my faith humbly. I’m a pilgrim traveling to God’s Kingdom. I write this blog as a pilgrim would share the story of his journey around a campfire. I’m keeping myself warm with the passionate love of God, and I pray that you’ll share His fire with me.

“Help, O Lord! for no one now is dutiful; faithfulness has vanished from among the children of men” (Psalms 12:2-3). I’ll be celebrating my third year since baptism this Easter. How faithful have I been to Jesus? I need to remind myself so that I can stay humble. Then, I remind myself of God’s mercy so that I can hope. “You, O Lord, will keep us and preserve us always from this generation” (Psalms 12:7-8). I confess so that my soul can be clean, and I try to hold on to a moral life so that I can be close to God. For me, the biggest danger is my mind, my imagination. It’s by grace that I can fight temptation. Thank the Holy Spirit for His help — “Lord, my foot is slipping!”

I imagine myself with the three disciples described in Mark 9:2-13. It’s hard not to go “gaga” and fall down to worship someone who suddenly becomes bright as the sun and a loud voice in the clouds announcing, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” I imagine myself there, and I know I would believe, as I do now, that Jesus is the Messiah. Probably more so. But would I betray Jesus, as Peter did? I’m afraid so. I have so much proof of God’s hand in my life: my wife, my child, and my career. Yet, I still betray Jesus with sin. I’m so grateful that He gave the Church the Sacrament of Reconciliation — without confession, I could not hope to face God.

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