Living the Scriptures can be difficult

By Fr. Edward Looney | For The Compass | August 23, 2021

We live in a time where people are looking for answers to a lot of questions, especially how to live a happy and healthy life. Visit any bookstore and you’ll find quite a large self-help section. Self-help podcasts are some of the most popular. We can read or hear all we want, but once we take in the information then we must do something with what we have learned.

Moses tells the people in our first reading to hear the statutes and decrees of the Lord. With this hearing, comes living them as well. St. James exhorts us to be doers of the word and not hearers only. The Scriptures offer us a challenge for our life. Do you just read and listen, or do you try to live them? Here are a few difficult passages of Scripture that we can try to put into action in our life.

Love one another (Jn. 13:35)

Time and again in the Scriptures, Jesus commands us to love one another. He doesn’t tell us just to love the people we want to love, but he even extends it to our enemies and those who persecute us (Mt. 5:34). Jesus wants us to set aside our differences and opinions and abide in peace with one another. It’s difficult because sometimes we want to live by “an eye for an eye,” but this isn’t what the Lord wants for us. Try to love one another.

Forgive and you will be forgiven (Mt. 6:14)
We all have had people hurt us by their words or actions. The world tells us to hold on to that grudge and try to get even. But if we want to be doers of the word, then we need to forgive because that is what Jesus wants us to do. He taught us that we will be forgiven to the extent we forgive others. Is there someone in your life you need to forgive? Pray about how you can begin the process of forgiveness. Letting go of anger and hate and choosing to forgive will bring you much freedom.

Say only the good people need to hear (Eph. 4:29)

St. Paul encouraged the Ephesians to say only the good things that people need to hear, things that will really build up people. It’s easy to get caught up in gossip and talking about others, especially when we are with other people. Maybe we want to tell the faults of another person so we are more favored. If we want to be doers of the word, when we converse with other people refrain from speaking ill about others and focus rather on the good. If a conversation takes that turn, direct it in a different way.
Throughout your life, you have heard the Scriptures proclaimed at Mass and read them in your personal devotional life. What Scripture passages do you try to live your life by? When you choose to live the Scriptures, you will become doers of the word.

Fr. Looney pastors the Catholic parishes of Brussels and Lincoln/Rosiere. He is the author of “Meditations after Holy Communion.”

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