So what advantage did you then get from the things you now are ashamed of? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life.” (Romans 6:21-22)
In today’s first reading, St. Paul tells us that the reward of sin is death. Knowing this is key to overcoming temptations. We struggle with sin because we do not believe it is wrong. We do not resist temptations because we are not horrified. As long as we define a sinful act as “fun” or “enjoyment”, we will keep struggling with it.
St. Paul questions the Romans, “What advantage did you get from the things you are now ashamed of?” This is a question we must ask. What exactly do I gain from doing this? Does it make me a better person? If it doesn’t, why am I doing it? Sin is not just an offence against God; it is an offence against myself. As long as I do not live by God’s instructions, I can never become all that God desires for me.
When a doctor tells you to choose between your favourite meal and death, I bet you will start hating that meal. To live above sin, we must hate sin. If our hatred for sin is not strong, we may abstain for a while only to return.
Some young persons were invited to give reasons why they text while driving. It was fun for them until a lady who was involved in a ghastly motor accident was brought into the room. This lady is now crippled and lost her parents in the accident. What caused that accident? A teenager was texting while driving. If we see the damage we cause ourselves and others by disobeying God, we will be more careful to avoid temptation.
Jesus says in today’s Gospel passage that he did not come to bring peace on earth but division. In our struggle against sin, we must remember we cannot afford to be friends with everyone. If we decide to follow in the footsteps of Christ, we will make a lot of enemies. Even our family members may not like us. Do not bow to peer pressure. Do not succumb to evil in the name of friendship. Trust God to reward and protect you.
Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, help me serve you above anything else. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: Romans 6:19-23, Ps. 1:1-4,6, Luke 12:49-53).*
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu