I just read the Catholic News Service story about Pope Francis’ homily at his residence this morning. I was particularly struck by these words:
Being generous toward the church, but selfish and unjust toward others “is a very serious sin: It is using God to cover up injustice,” he said
Some people may regularly make financial contributions to the church, but, the pope asked, how generous are they toward their loved ones and their dependents? Are they generous and just to them, too, he asked.
People cannot “make offerings to the church on the back of injustice,” he said. “It is not a good Christian who doesn’t do justice to the people who depend on him” and who does not “deprive himself of something essential for him in order to give it to another who is in need.”
The parallels to social justice and fair and equal treatment with neighbor and employee/worker are clear … but what about for me as a wife and mother? Am I soooo very busy with my “important” church-related / faith-related deeds that I fail to show charity and justice, necessary time and attention, to my husband? My children? My parents? My friends and neighbors and extended family?
God is using His Holiness’ words to remind me that when I choose “The Church” or “My Ministry” over the needs of my family, I’m just like the Pharisees with their hollow cleaning of the cups all over again. It all looks well and good on the outside, while the inside is decayed and ineffective.
It’s a delicate balance, this earthly tightrope walk of vocation and avocation, but I’m sure God wants me to not be, as our dear friend would say, “so heavenly minded” that I’m “no earthly good.”
I have a long way to go in rending my heart this Lenten season.Thank you, Papa, for the reminder. Time to go change another diaper and play some Legos.