Search Party PURPLE

+402+ The Crooked Yardstick, and how to stop measuring Yourself (Advent 2)

Fr. Joel Homilies

Advent, 2nd Sunday.

Nelson Mandela contributed to the end of apartheid in South Africa, but then helped his country heal with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The coming Messiah described by Isaiah judges with Truth. He also brings Reconciliation that is so powerful, even the animals become friends.  How do we prepare to meet such a wonderful Messiah? John the Baptist tells us we must repent. Sounds like more Catholic guilt, right? But guilt can be a good thing. There are two kinds of guilt:

  1. Good guilt happens when we do something wrong. We change what is wrong and we move on as better people.
  2. Bad guilt happens when we didn’t do anything wrong but we feel guilty anyway.

Sometimes too we don’t feel appropriately guilty even though we have done wrong. The Pharisees were living this way. They had created a crooked yardstick that fit them perfectly, but everyone else came up short. Bad guilt happens when we measure ourselves with crooked measuring sticks – our own or others. How do we measure ourselves correctly? We have to measure ourselves to Jesus. In fact, we have to stop holding the measuring stick at all; we have to give the stick to Jesus and let Him do the measuring.

Last week I talked about the Morning Offering. This week I want to talk about the wonderful Catholic practice of a nightly examination of Conscience. Every night we should examine ourselves in light of our loving relationship with Jesus. When done well, a nightly examination of Conscience can help us grow tremendously. Repent today, because the Lord is closer than you think.

(8 Dec 2013)

 

Want to go deeper?

A Nightly Examination of Conscience

Start with Prayer asking Jesus to be present with you and lead you so that this examination can be fruitful beyond your human abilities.

  1. Lord, where was I self-giving today?
    a) Pause and reflect.
    b) Thank Jesus for giving you this opportunity.
    c) Thank Him for working through you.
  2. Lord, where was I selfish today?
    a) Pause and reflect.
    b) Why did you choose to be selfish?
    c) How would Jesus have done it differently?
  3. Lord, where were You today?
    a) Pause and reflect.
    b) The answer might surprise you. Focus on His presence.
    c) Thank Him for being part of  your life.
  4. Pray your Act of Contrition
    a) Continue to look at Jesus from the step above.
    b) Speak to Him:

    O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee,
    and I detest all my sins because of thy just punishments,
    but most of all because they offend Thee, my God,
    w
    ho art all good and deserving of all my love.
    I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace
    to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.
    Amen.
  5. Pray with Tomorrow
    a) What is on your schedule for tomorrow?
    b) Imagine the Lord with you in each moment.
    c) Ask for help, strength, whatever you need.

End with Thanksgiving. Name a few things you are grateful for and thank God for those things. Then sleep well… very well.