This week is the sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The readings today urge us to observe the laws given to us by our loving and caring God. He revealed His laws to us through Moses and the prophets in the Old Testament and through His Son, Jesus, in the New Testament. The intent of the law is to love God and one another.
The first reading is taken from the Book of Sirach. This reading contains the clearest statement in the Old Testament concerning the God-given freedom of the human will. It also exonerates God from all responsibility for evil in the world. “If you choose, you can keep the commandments . . . before you are life and death, whichever you choose shall be given you.” The author asserts that there should be no compromise when it comes to keeping God’s law.
In the second reading, Paul challenges his Corinthian believers to appreciate the wisdom of God’s saving plan for His people, a plan hidden for ages but now revealed by the Spirit. Paul advises Christians to seek true wisdom in God’s revelation instead of indulging in endless discussions of Greek philosophy. God in His wisdom has saved us through Jesus and prepared for those who love Him, “What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and what has not entered the human heart.”
In today’s Gospel, Jesus challenges His disciples to live a life of justice and righteousness which would exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus sets forth His own position with regard to the Law given through Moses by providing a new interpretation and meaning for the old laws. We need to obey God’s Law; in obeying God’s law and Church law, we demonstrate two basic principles, namely, the principle of reverence and the principle of respect. In the first four of the Ten Commandments, we are asked to revere God, His holy name and His holy day and to revere our fathers and mothers. The next set of commandments instructs us to respect life, one’s personal integrity and good name, the legal system, another’s property and another’s spouse.
As you know, last weekend, I spoke at all Masses and introduced the Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) campaign in our parish. The response so far has been good, and I thank you for your continuous support of the ACA. Our parish goal is $65,000. I encourage you all to participate, no matter how small your contribution may be. If we all participate and share the joy of love, I am confident that we can soon reach and even exceed our goal.
Last week, I mailed a packet to all registered families in our parish. It included my letter and a brochure entitled “Gratitude in Action,” which has a pledge card attached and a return envelope. If you haven’t received the packet, please contact the parish office so that we can mail a package to you. You can also see a short video presentation of ACA on our parish website: http://www.santasophia.org/2020-annual-catholic-appeal/.
Please make your check payable to the Diocese of San Diego, and return it along with the pledge card in the collection basket at Mass or to the parish office. If you are not a registered member of the parish, you can pick up an Annual Catholic Appeal brochure at any of the church exits or call the parish office to have it mailed to you. You may also make your contribution on-line by going to the diocesan website at: giving.sdcatholic.org. In either case, please return the pledge card to the parish office for our record keeping. You may make a one-time gift or make a pledge with monthly or quarterly payments.
Participation in the ACA is a great opportunity to acknowledge and show our gratitude to God for His many blessings. One way of acknowledging and showing our gratitude to God is by sharing our blessings with others and participating in the mission of the Church. By participating in ACA, we not only support the missionary works of the local church, but through our generous gifts we also express our gratitude to God, for His many blessings. I want you to remember that participation in the ACA accomplishes something very profound: as Holy Father Pope Francis says, it opens the door of faith to others. Because of your gift someone will encounter Christ, and someone will have the opportunity to know and experience the goodness of God. Thank you once again for your continued support in the life and mission of the local Church, and being a good steward of God’s blessing.