September 3, 2017 — Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
JER 20: 7-9; PS 63: 2-6, 8-9; ROM 12: 1-2; MT 16: 21-27
Our Second Reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans is quite short, but as is ever the case with Holy Scripture it contains a central message which is quite important to us. One of the ongoing challenges of being Catholic and Christian in today’s society is that society, cultural norms, sometimes seem to work against our efforts to live as followers and disciples of Christ.
Paul sums up that struggle succinctly as he says, “Do not conform yourselves to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” Paul offers two suggestions in terms of combating the temptation to conform and agree.
First, he calls for a “renewal” of our minds. Often in today’s society the standard opinion is that it is feelings, how we feel, that are most important. Living in that way ignores the mind approach. Second, if we do try to sort things out intellectually we can only be successful in God’s eyes if we seek truth. The question we must pose to ourselves and to which we need to seek a conclusion is not “How do I feel?” or even “What do I think?” The important question for us is “What is true and what does God’s Word say?”
The philosopher and author C. S. Lewis defined truth simply when he wrote: “No philosophical theory which I have yet come across is a radical improvement on the words of Genesis, that ‘…in the beginning God made heaven and earth’.”