The Good Habit Of Examining Our Conscience

Tuesday of Week 15 in Ordinary Time - Cycle II

Is. 7:1-9 & Mt. 11:20-24

We all like to hear good things about ourselves! This is especially true when we go to a doctor with the hope that there is nothing seriously wrong with us. Doctors would be doing a great disservice if they were to pretend that we are in good health when actually we are not. Their real kindness and concern are shown in telling us the truth and indicating what we must do for our health.

I suppose that many people have a picture of Jesus as a very kind and gentle person, the Good Shepherd. This He was, but Jesus is also the Divine Physician, and so we should not be surprised to hear at times some rather stern warnings coming from Him. We do hear some in today's Gospel. He is like a conscientious doctor who warns us that unless we change our diet or our way of living we'll end up with a fatal illness. Jesus is concerned about our spiritual health.

Isaiah, under God's directive, acted sternly toward King Ahaz. God was deeply disturbed about the spiritual illness of Israel, and He sent Isaiah to warn the king and his people.

The scripture readings today do not contain specifics upon which we can examine ourselves, but they should make us pause and move us to reflect on our spiritual health. An old practice of the Church is still a very good idea, and that is the habit of examining our conscience every night before retiring. This does not have to be a deep and painful searching experience. Humble honesty in the presence of God is all that is required. A nightly examination of conscience is a practical means towards a healthy spiritual life. It will most certainly help the spiritual health of our lives.

Lord Jesus, make us realise that the nearer we get to You, the more we shall see our sins - and want to make greater efforts to eradicate them, and please You.