Wednesday of the Twenty-FirstWeek in Ordinary Time
The secret of youth
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth. Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous, and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’ Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets; now fill up what your ancestors measured out! Mt 23,27-32
It can happen that a man loses the joy of his job and an entrepreneur think of making money only. It can happen that the original love fades away in a married couple or that two friends get tired of seeing each other. It can happen, then, that managers and governors end up caring for their own interests only, and that teachers and doctors lose the sense of their mission. It can happen that the judges sell themselves to the powerful ones. It can moreover happen that the Church gets stuck in traditional habits and lose its original spirit.
This is all due to the sclerosis of the spirit, this is the devil’s subtle action, who deprives us of our dreams little by little, without getting tired, to trivialize the way we live. Thus, over time, we risk to care for the appearances only, to become scribes and Pharisees, who live like whitewashed tombs, without enthusiasm, hopes, expectations and joy of living. The only way we have to avoid this spiritual sclerosis is to draw on the life of God every day through prayer, praise, the sacraments and the ability to enjoy the big and small things: the rising and setting of the sun, the starry sky, a child who is born, a smiling flower, a good plate of pasta and the constant search for inner peace and silence. Grant us, O Lord, the perseverance to drink at the source of your Spirit every day. Give us, Lord, to feed our hopes, expectations, dreams continuously. Give us, Lord, to enjoy what we have, peace, inner silence. Lord, give us a busy life but without worry, the ability to give and give ourselves. Give us, oh Lord, the joy of living, laughing at our weaknesses and poverty of spirit. Give us, Lord, the youthfulness of the heart, a peaceful old age and, eventually, a holy death.