13 Dec

I will leave as a remnant in your midst
a people humble and lowly,
Who shall take refuge in the name of the Lord:
the remnant of Israel.
They shall do no wrong
and speak no lies;
Nor shall there be found in their mouths
a deceitful tongue;
They shall pasture and couch their flocks
with none to disturb them.  (Zep 3:12-13)

The prophet, Zephaniah, gave words of encouragement to the people of his time.  But, the words of encouragement were woven through a rather dim view of his age.  He acknowledged shameful deeds and rebellious actions.  Because of these, God spoke through Zephaniah and said that a remnant would be left when doom and despair came upon the people.

This remnant would be a group who were ultra-faithful to God.  They would be a people to whom Israel could look in order to follow their example.

It is sad to think that the people had gone so far astray that they would need to be shaken up and given a small group of people as witnesses.

As sad as it appears, it is easy to see how something that that could evolve.  All we have to do is look at our world and we would have to admit that we are far from the people God wants us to be.  Greed, avarice, war, and all sorts of other crimes and sins fill our world.  They also fill our hearts and color our minds.  They lead us to choose sin, sometimes more often, than choosing the Lord.

There comes a time when we have to “stand up” and be noticed.  If someone looked at us, would we be an example of wickedness and sin or would we be an example of the faithful few who still follow the Lord?

FAITH ACTION:  It is time to take stock of your life.  Would you be considered a member of the remnant:  faithful, humble, and lowly?  If not, make a plan to go to confession to prepare for Christmas.

Our annual Penance Services in the Southlake Deanery begin this evening and are listed below.  All services are at 7:00 p.m. unless noted otherwise.

   St. James, Highland
   St. Joseph, Dyer
   Our Lady of Grace, Highland
St. Andrew the Apostle, Merrillville
   Ss. Peter and Paul, Merrillville (1:00 p.m.)
   St. Anne, Black Oak (3:00 p.m.)
   St. Bridget, Hobart (3:00 p.m.)
   Our Lady of Consolation, Merrillville
St. Mary, Crown Point
St. Matthias, Crown Point (6:00 p.m.)
   St. Edward, Lowell
St. Thomas More, Munster
   Holy Name, Cedar Lake
St. Michael, Schererville
   St. Mary, Griffith