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Sunday, October 2, 2005

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27th Sunday Ordinary Time

Isaiah 5:1-7
Philippians 4:6-9
Psalm 80
Matthew 21:33-43

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thought pollution

"Your thoughts should be wholly directed to all that is true, all that deserves respect, all that is honest, pure, admirable, decent, virtuous, or worthy of praise." —Philippians 4:8

Once a father caught his young son using a curse word. The father took his son into the kitchen and poured him a tall, clear glass of juice. He gave the drink to his son, who took a big gulp. Next, the father took a spoonful of sewage and dropped it into the glass. He gave it to the boy to drink. This time, the boy made a face and refused to drink it. The father asked, "Why won't you drink it now? There's only a small bit of sewage in the glass. You can drink around it." "No," said the boy, "it's polluted now." "Ah," said Dad, "and that's what your mind looks like when you think a bad thought and curse like you just did now."

Likewise, the Lord requires all our thoughts to be under His lordship (Phil 4:8). Our thoughts must be "wholly directed to" His kingdom (Phil 4:8). We are to "bring every thought into captivity to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Cor 10:5). A few evil thoughts don't make our minds mostly good; rather, our minds are polluted.

How can we control every thought? We start by completely repenting and giving our whole mind to the Lord (Mt 22:37). He knows our thoughts (Ps 139:2; Lk 11:17). He will scrub away any filth from our thoughts (cf Jn 2:15). Then, we can immerse ourselves daily in God's word, which "judges the reflections and thoughts" of our mind. Like a double-edged sword, His word cuts evil thoughts away and displaces them with His living Word (Heb 4:12). In His word, God "declares to man His thoughts" (Am 4:13). Read and think God's word.

Prayer:  "Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart find favor before You, O Lord" (Ps 19:15).

Promise:  "Give us new life, and we will call upon Your name." —Ps 80:19

Praise:  Praise You, Jesus, our eternal Intercessor! Alleluia!

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 21, 2005

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