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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time — July 30, 2023

Bishop’s Reflections

July 30, 2023

Every Sunday, Bishop Edward Malesic writes a Scripture reflection for the faithful. Follow the bishop on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Click HERE for the readings.

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time — July 30, 2023

If there was one thing you could ask of God, what would it be? This was God’s question to Solomon in our first reading: “Ask something of me and I will give it to you." And Solomon said, “Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong.”

As a great leader, Solomon wanted the gift of discerning good from bad, right from wrong, so that he could lead his people forward in truth and justice, but it was also so that he could have the ability to do God’s will in all things.

We live at a time of great moral challenge. Every age has had its difficulties for Christians, but our time has caused so many things to be turned upside down. What do I mean? What was once considered morally wrong is now considered by many to be acceptable and even good, and what was once considered to be morally good in the past is now rejected as bad by so many who live among us, including our family and friends.

If we want to know what is right and what is wrong, don’t look to opinion polls and current fads. Instead, we have several helps that God gives to us in our discernment of what to do and what not to do. First and foremost, we have Sacred Scripture, God’s revealed Word to us, in which God gives us the commandments. He gives us the great law of the Ten Commandments in which he requires the moral good of worshipping God alone, and rejecting the evil of lying, theft, adultery, and the killing of innocent life. We also can see that scripture defines love according to the example given to us by Jesus. Love as put forward by Jesus is based in personal sacrifice on behalf of the other. He asks us to love God above all things and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

In addition to Sacred Scripture, we have the clear moral guidance found in the teaching of our Church as contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which details what is good and what is evil. This teaching is rooted in Sacred Scripture and the natural moral law which can be discerned by reason itself. Our Church teaches that all life must be respected from conception to natural death because all life from its very beginning is made in the image of God, who is also the author of all life. This teaching informs everything that we do regarding our stance as a pro-life Church in the broadest possible understanding of that term.

And, finally, we have the help of prayer as we ask God, “Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to distinguish right from wrong.”

Once we have discovered that there is a difference between right and wrong — and have decided to choose the good and reject the bad — then we have come close to the Kingdom of Heaven, that pearl of great price, which makes all the difference for us as followers of Jesus — who seeks the salvation of our souls.

Have a blessed week everyone.

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