Father Moreno shared that during his tour as military chaplain he went to the Philippines. When he landed there he was asked by his host if he wanted to eat exotic food.
He had eaten cat, dog, and chocolate covered ants; so he said yes to the invitation to eat exotic food.
They went to an island where there were many monkeys. He was going to have monkey stew. He was told how the monkeys were captured. A hole would be cut on top of a coconut and sweet, sugary candy was placed inside the coconut. When the monkeys went to grab the candy inside the coconut their fist would be stuck in the coconut and they couldn’t run or climb so they were easily clubbed to death.
Father Moreno could not bring himself to eat the monkey stew.
If the monkey's had released their grip on the candy their hand would have come out of the coconut and they could have escaped.
We are like the captured monkeys when we grab and cling to the things of the world. When we cling to our addictions we become a god; we must let go in order to let God.
In today’s Parable the enemy sows weeds among the wheat. The enemy is the devil, the weeds are the children of the devil and the wheat are the children of God.
Jesus believed in satan, he encountered satan.
There is evil. Those who say there is no devil are mistaken. We are bombarded, tempted by the devil in our hearts.
Father Moreno shared how we cried last week watching the news about a little boy who was raped and cut up. How can anyone not believe there is no evil, all we have to do is watch the news.
Father spoke about four (4) of the cardinal virtues:
1) Moderation – Detachment from addictions. When we make things a god, we get nailed to those things.
We must have a disciplined life and a relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We must allow the Holy Spirit to groan in us. Discipline means reading Scripture and receiving the Sacraments.
When we lead an undisciplined life we are like the weeds gone wild, like the wind that comes and goes. Self-discipline means integrity.
2) Courage means strength and heart.
We are children of the living God, we must claim the right to be a child a God, a beloved of God. The devil will try to prevent this by telling us lies.
3) Wisdom means the foresight to see the goodness of God and the goodness of creation. We are able to say “NO” I will not allow myself to be buried by my addictions, because I believe in God.
4) Justice means service, mercy, forgiveness. We are to judge the truth and we are to speak the truth. We can say “NO” that is wrong.
Let us not be like the monkeys with our fist held tight clutching our addictions. We must let go and with hands wide open say, “Come Lord Jesus, transform me, heal me, change me”.
Let us invite Jesus into our hearts.
Invite the youth to come to Our Lady of Guadalupe Gym July 18 – 22 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm to listen to Father Moreno give a presentation.
Starting in Advent the new changes to the Mass will be implemented. Stay tuned . . .
Father Moreno said it was very rude to leave the Church before the priest leaves. Let us not be rude.