Anyone know where I pulled the opening quote from this morning? It’s kinda sorta maybe in a way from our Psalm for today…el numero uno Psalm in the Bible. Take a close look…Psalm1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6. It’s actually verse 5 from the Psalm. Why it wasn’t put into the readings today is beyond my understanding because it fits completely with the theme of the readings all this week…sin separates you from God. I am not a theologian, although I played one in our 2nd grade Christmas play, but I would hazard a guess the assembly of the just refers to those in heaven. In order for me to join that assembly of the just, I must continually break my bonds to sin.
Again, not being a theologian, I can’t say with certainty that St. Paul slammed us in the first reading…Brothers and sisters: I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your nature. I don’t know, sounds like a put down to me. Any who, let’s not get hung up on that but read on further…
But now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves of God,
the benefit that you have leads to sanctification,
and its end is eternal life.
For the wages of sin is death,
but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The gift of God is the admittance into the assembly of the just as we proclaim in today’s Psalm; the “gift” of sin is death. I don’t know how much more in “human terms” this can be put and bears repeating. The gift of God is eternal life; the gift of sin is death.
As we all know, sin is a hard habit to break – we were born into it. And as Jesus warns us in the Gospel this morning, we will have to go through a the fire in order to be broken from those bonds of sin. Sin can be easy and sometimes easy seems to be the better choice. How many of today still want to chose the easy path over the hard path. It is that choice that I think Jesus is referring to in saying he will divide a family…”father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” Jesus is warning us that some with chose the gift of eternal life and others will chose sin and will fight each other constantly over who is right and who is wrong about that choice.
What are you prepared to fight for? Sin and death or obedience to God and eternal life. I will chose life, I will chose God, I chose to serve.
Do something great for our Lord today – step into the fire of God’s cleansing love. Will it be painful? Most likely. Will it be worth it? Without doubt!
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.
But you, man of God, pursue righteousness,
devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
Compete well for the faith.