First Reading: Sirach 27:4-7
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:54-58
Gospel: Luke 6:39-45
Praise no one before he speaks, for it is then that people are tested. (Sir27:7) Our first reading invites us to reflect on how speech reveals the nature of our heart. The connection of the lips with the heart can be found elsewhere in Sacred Scriptures. This people pays me lip service but their heart is far from me. (Mt15:8) …this people draws near with words only and honors me with their lips alone, though their hearts are far from me. (Is29:13) Our speech reveals our inner self
In a similar way, our fruits reveal our inner self as well. The just one shall flourish like the palm tree, like a cedar of Lebanon shall he grow. (Ps92:13) The fruit of the tree shows the care it has had…(Sir27:6) In today’s gospel, in one of the parables, Jesus says: A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. (Lk6:43)
Our words and our fruits, reveal the formation of our conscience. In the Vatican II document, Gaudium et spes (16), we read “Conscience is man’s most secret core, and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.” “A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator.” (CC1798)
“The Word of God is a light for our path. We must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. This is how a moral conscience is formed.” (CC1802) “We must examine our conscience before the Lord’s Cross. We are assisted by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, aided by the witness or advice of others and guided by the authoritative teaching of the Church.” (CC1785)
We see the connection of today’s Scriptures with the moral life that we are called to live, continually forming our conscience. “The formation of conscience is a lifelong task…and engenders peace of heart.” (CC1784) Through prayer, the Sacraments, Sacred Scriptures and the teaching of the church, we receive God’s grace in this lifelong journey of forming our conscience.
God bless us all always!