Tuesday of the Sixth week of Ordinary Time
Today is Mardi Gras, or sometimes referred to as, “Fat Tuesday!” It is one of those days of the year we indulge in things before we begin the penitential season of Lent. It is ok, to enjoy ourselves today but in our spiritual lives, we need to be constantly looking out for what could trip us up and spin us out of control. We need to be ready for Lent to begin tomorrow.
In our first reading James, speaks very clearly about temptation and sin, but the best thing he says is, “Blessed are those who persevere in temptation they will receive the crown of life.” Two things to know about temptation and sin. The first thing is, most sin does not sneak up on us and smack us in the head. Sin, as James describes it begins with temptation, and it comes over us, and we have time to say, “No” or “Yes.” Take for example gossiping about someone. Gossiping comes from way down here, and we can see it coming, and we have to decide if we are going to say those negative things about someone. There may be lots of reasons to gossip. Most of the reasons are to make us look good in some way. The other thing is sin has no value for us; it does not enhance our lives.
In our Gospel, Jesus says, “Watch out, to guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” Leaven is yeast, which is added to the dough to make it ferment and rise. Jesus is warning them to be watchful of what can rise within them because of the Pharisees and the scribes who are against Jesus and his teachings.
May this Eucharist help us to understand the goodness of God better? As we begin the Holy Season of Lent tomorrow, we should already have in mind what we will be doing to grow in love with God. Let us be aware of our sinfulness and what to change.