Both readings today are important for our properly understanding this religious life of ours. The first reading tells us that human nature is such a weak thing, that we cannot save ourselves without God’s grace. Then, the Gospel tells us that just going on, living as people did in the past, won’t save us. God made us for this time, and we must be in step with his world as it is today. Let’s look at how our readings teach us those two lessons,
In the first reading Paul was inspired to speak for all humanity when he said, “I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want." He went on to say that he loved the law of God in his mind, but he was aware of what he called “another principle” which was at war with his mind, taking it captive. He let out a cry of distress, asking who would deliver him. Then, he saw the answer to his prayer in the assurance that Jesus Christ was always near him, anxious to make up for his weakness,
When we move to the Gospel, we find Jesus asking you, “Why do you not interpret the present time?”
Father Bernard Lonergan, a Canadian Jesuit who died thirty years, gave us four simple steps toward our behaving properly in the present 1. We must open our eyes to what is going on. 2, We should perceive what is wrong there. 3. We must determine just what action could set things right. 4. We should take that action.
The bishops of the Second Vatican Council, desirous of doing what is right for the people of our time, conducted a worldwide survey of conditions. Then, for the four years of the council, never a day went by, without some of them referring to what Jesus said in today’s Gospel about “interpreting the present time.”