Render Unto Caeser
Today is only the 5th day of implementing the new pandemic protocols. We made changes over the weekend as we saw how well people were adapting. I'm hoping that it will be even easier next weekend for people to find good seats where they are safe.
The seating for most liturgies is open seating with the caveat that people should sit six feet from anyone wearing a mask. Because we have many more people coming to Sunday Masses, we have designated the organ side for those who are willing and able to sit close together. The parish hall side is for those who need or want to sit six feet apart.
Out in the world, many are dominated by the seven deadly sins or vices: pride, envy, anger, sloth (laziness), avarice (greed), gluttony, and lust. In particular, some vaccinated people are envious of those who are fully vaccinated and want all their new freedoms to be restricted. Some of the fully vaccinated are acting in a prideful manner, looking down upon those who are not vaccinated. Even we who follow Jesus Christ can be tempted by these vices.
To combat vices, we must pray. But we also ought to exercise opposite virtues. Here's the list of seven deadly sins again but with the seven lively virtues: pride & humility, envy & admiration, anger & forgiveness, sloth & zeal, avarice & generosity, gluttony & asceticism, and lust & chastity. I invite the unvaccinated to rejoice that the fully vaccinated do have new freedoms. I invite the fully vaccinated to practice humility and be mindful of the variety of people and their situations. Let's all sacrifice for one another.
Render Unto Caeser
In today's Gospel, Jesus says, "Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God." Our government has the responsibility of promoting the common good which includes public health. It is good for us to follow government regulations unless they go against God's laws. Governor Murphy has just said that the fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks or social distance in most situations. He urges everyone else to continue to wears masks indoors and stay six feet apart. I don't see any obvious problems with this new relaxed regulation. So, we might as well follow it even as we might request that masks be optional for everyone in most places in the near future.
In today's first reading, Tobit develops cataracts and goes blind from the warm droppings of birds and doctors' various salves. He later becomes angry, prompting his wife to remind him to practice the virtue of charity.
I only learned this morning from Fr. Mitch Pacwa's show that the Latin word for envy is invidia which means "not seeing". The envious do not see the truth. To combat envy, we can open our eyes to see reality. Invidia also means looking upon with the evil eye. Those corrupted by envy look rather miserable as they look at others with the evil eye, concocting ways to take away from others what they have.
Envy is one of the seven deadly vices that currently plagues our society. Let's open our eyes and rejoice that others have good things.
As an aside, when I searched for "envy invidia", the first results were about the HP Envy Laptop with NVIDIA GeForce graphics chip. Someone should alert HP to the problems with the names "Envy" and "NVIDIA" having to do with not seeing. It's like the car "Nova" having to change its name in Spanish speaking countries because "No va" means "No go". As another aside, people are beginning to celebrate LGBT Pride month. Don't they know that pride is a very deadly vice?
God love you,
Fr. Jim O'Neill
on Tuesday, June 1 at 3:44PM