Wednesday 5th Week of the Year.
Choices we make for evil and for good never come from outside of us but always from within.
We have seen this past week
that the 10 Commandments in all their simplicity
are about relationships – with God and each other.
Jesus reduced the 10 Commandments to two –
love of God and love of neighbor.
(a, b, c)
We pray for healthy relationships
but sometimes that is not the case.
Anyone in an unhealthy relationship ends up
abusing another for their own gain.
Whereas healthy relationships always
puts the other person before themselves.
Jesus has a clever way to help us see this clearly.
The people in our Lord’s time
thought that “things” such as eating pork
could make a person not worthy
of the Lord or even other Jews.
Jesus says, “No,” such things in themselves
cannot make a person clean or unclean
or if you like pleasing or displeasing to the Lord.
Only persons can be defiled
and it’s not what we eat
but how we act and behave towards others
which are always products of our hearts.
The diseases of the heart that Jesus mentions –
evil designs, fornication’s, thefts, murders,
adulteries, greed, malice, deceit, etc. –
are choices we make and define who we are before God.
All these things have a profound, horrible effect
on our relationship with God and people
that literally breaks them down and destroys them.
We have our own “things”
that make our relationships phony
and give us excuses for our sinfulness.
Have we ever made excuses
to hold a grudge against someone who hurts us?
Have we ever blamed someone
for the way we act or think.
Choices we make for evil and for good
never come from outside of us but always from within.
Instead of all this mess,
let’s save ourselves and others a lot of pain
and just own up to anything
that puts distance between us and another person –
God or people.
Let us not be afraid to go there
because we will always find Jesus
and his merciful embrace of us.
Pope Francis sums it up so well,
“Being a Christian isn’t just following the commandments, but means being in Christ, thinking like him, acting like him, loving like him; it means letting him take possession of our lives and change them, transform them, free them from the darkness of evil and sin.”
Lord, create in us clean hearts
that make all of our relationships healthy and fruitful
for your Kingdom.
Life will be so much more joyful. Amen.