A reading of the holy Gospel according to Matthew 5:1-12A
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”
REFLECTION: "He began to teach them"
We are told over and over from the pulpits, "Vote your conscience". How do we know we have a well formed conscience? A good conscience makes judgments that conform to reason and the good will by the Wisdom of God. It is that voice of God in our inner sanctuary. But how do we distinguish between our subjective self or what is objectively true outside ourselves in shaping our conscience? How do we know we have a heavenly formed conscience? (US Catholic Catechism for Adults)
If we are God centered our vote is prayer informed. If we are world centered our vote is news outlet/social media informed. God gave us the Ten Commandments. Jesus taught us the Beatitudes. The Holy Spirit is with us all the time and speaks and sets us on fire with the Word of God. He illumines our mind with the basic tenets and love of God.
We can be so wrong subjectively about something that is objectively true. If we have an incorrect conscience we are in error in our view of truth. And therefore, our conscience allows us to sin.
Today, our Mother Church, proudly lets us see and hear of the saints who made it to heaven. The saints lived on earth and were, too, tempted with the world. But they wanted heaven more, so, they used their conscience to follow the Lord. They can lead us to Him by their lives as they, too, lived the same struggles and the same difficulties. They followed the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes.
They also followed Catholic Critical Thinking --looking at a problem and with reason critically think.
(1) What is the problem or purpose of our thinking? eg. Who do we vote for?
(2) Ask questions.
(3) Obtain information regarding the subject, for example what is their platform, do they follow the commandments?
(4) Interpret what we read and hear.
(5) Are we forming our thoughts based on facts, our biases or prejudices?
(6) Can we form our own ideas based on what we have learned?
(7) Have I listened and discerned the different points of view?
(8) What are the implications to my conclusions?
(9) Am I prepared to accept the consequence to my decision?
We attain truth with love. Remember there are three non negotiables.--
(1) Pro family
(2) Religious freedom
(3) Pro Life
And finally, Jesus is the Sacrament, our Holy Communion and the only Mediator for humankind. Will what I have decided bring me to Salvation?
Now let Jesus teach you how to " Vote your Conscience"!!