Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80:9, 12-16, 19-20;Philippians 4:6-9;Matthew 21:33-43
Think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)
When you begin taking piano lessons, you begin by finding middle C. Then you learn how to read the notes on a page and how each note corresponds to a key on the piano. Then you learn how to look at the music and pay attention to your fingers at the same time.
But as you practice, something remarkable happens. You learn how to play by instinct. You don’t have to keep looking down at the keyboard because your fingers know where to go. You even get to the point of playing without any sheet music because you have memorized everything!
This is how St. Paul teaches us in today’s second reading. He describes a way of life that is based on faith in Christ and openness to the Holy Spirit, and he gives us a step-by-step way of living it out. He tells us, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious … think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).
As a master builder, Paul’s teaching method is like the piano teacher’s. First, you set out your plan for how you will think, just as a piano student learns the keys. Then, you try your best to carry out that plan, just as a piano student practices a song over and over. And finally, as you do, virtues like purity, truthfulness, justice, and charity become your natural way of acting. You won’t need to think about them as much because practice has made them a part of who you are.
So make a plan. Every day think about how you can be more generous to your spouse or more forgiving to a co-worker. Think about how you can live a more honorable life—free from deceit, manipulation, and moodiness. Think about these things, then try your best to live them out. Jesus will bless your efforts. Eventually, you won’t have to think about them anymore. You’ll be doing them!
“Holy Spirit, teach me how to take on the character of Christ.”~WAU