God doesn’t want your excuses: A homily for the Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Today we see the blame game, the excuse game in our first reading. Adam is asked why he ate the fruit—the one thing God prohibited. “Eve made me do it,” he replies. Then God asks the same of Eve, and she in turn blames the serpent.

It’s always someone else’s fault. There’s always an excuse.

We are guilty of the blame game too. Often we assign blame to someone or something else, in order to make ourselves feel better about our sinfulness or failings. We pacify our consciences, justify our sins.

Examples abound —

– I would be less angry, but my husband is an idiot.
– I would be more patient, but there are too many traffic lights and long lines. – I would be kinder to that woman, but she has been such a witch to me – I would read the Bible more, but too many people are always bothering me
– I would go to Mass, but I’m too busy, or I have to work, or I have a party to go to. – I would be happy, but my boss is impossible and my coworkers are crazy – I wouldn’t gossip, but people are always coming to me to talk about others

How big is your BUT?

Think about your own life, those times when you know the right thing but have failed to do it. Our collect at Mass. we prayed that would always know what is right and by Gods guidance so it. Forget the excuses, the buts.

In all the above cases, and tons more like them, we are at fault but end up blaming others for our sins and failings. Always someone else’s fault. There is always a BUT.

God asks us to buck up and take responsibility.

Because the thing is, God doesn’t want our excuses. He doesn’t want our “buts.” He wants our undivided hearts, as we hear in our gospel today. Making excuses and blaming others profits us nothing when we knock on heaven’s door. Too often making excuses and playing the blame game prevents us from humbling ourselves and realizing we have work to do, we need to be better.

Example. Sometimes I worry about the low attendance at this or that Mass. I see the empty seats and think, Geez O Pete. Then I blame: o blame the culture for having baseball games on Sunday morning. Honestly. I blame the parents for not knowing better, or knowing better but not caring enough. I blame the last 40 years’ of catechesis that has neglected to teach that missing Mass is a mortal sin, but more, has failed to make people WANT Mass. I blame this or that priest that used to be here. But I can’t just blame others. I must also blame myself. There is surely something I can do better. Now I gotta pray about what that is, but I know I need to do something better.

So we ask God today to help us take responsibility, follow him with undivided hearts and lives.