Sound Advice from St. Paul
Maybe it is just because I am getting older but I find it amazing how quickly time goes by, even in these ongoing pandemic days; I find it hard to believe that it’s Labor Day Weekend and the unofficial end of the summer. If you are like me, you are looking forward to cooler days, crisp nights, and the beauty of changing leaves; I’m a big fan of “sweatshirt weather.” Being that Labor Day is upon us, we know that we will also have some other realties going on in our lives.
We know that soon the harvest will come and, since we are surrounded in Springfield by cornfields, we know that there is going to be a lot of dust and allergens in the air; some of us will be sneezing and coughing a little while being otherwise healthy. I say this as a reminder for us to not go into a COVID craze with each other at Mass or wherever we may be. As always, if someone is not feeling well, they should not come to Mass, but allergies are not the same thing as having a virus. So, as in all things, let us strive to be charitable with each other and avoid any eye-rolls or shaming looks at Mass, or where ever, should someone cough or sneeze.
Now that Labor Day is here, we are now less than two months away from the Presidential Election and ads, commentaries, and opinions are kicking into high gear. Here also, we must meet each other in charity. Everyone has an opinion: some love this candidate, others love that candidate, still others do not have any love for any candidates, and that’s all fine. Over these next several weeks, don’t let anyone steal your peace. If the TV or social media is making your blood pressure rise, change the channel or put your device down. I remember two years ago at this time during the mid-term elections that I had to step away from social media; I ended up staying away for over a year and it was the best thing for me to do (and I probably should have never gone back to it, to be honest). The same is true in conversations; we must meet each other in charity. If the conversation becomes tense, change the topic, or sometimes, depending on who you might be talking with, it might be best to not get into politics (or religion) at all.
St. Paul says it wonderfully for us this weekend in his Letter to the Romans: owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law. This is sound advice for us to live by; advice that will truly help us get to heaven if we follow it.
Wishing you and yours a happy and safe holiday weekend, with blessings for the week ahead!
Father Chris House