Mar 17, 2015

Fourth Sunday in Lent B

The people of God were unfaithful to the commandments. They imitated the nations, "and the people added infidelity to infidelity, practicing all the abominations of the nations." The abominations included the worship of idols. This happens to us also. It begins with the desire to live like the rest of the world. This leads to immorality of every type: living together without being married, pornography, abortion, contraceptives, divorce, unjust salaries, failure to care for the poor in our society and many other examples. Our private lives affect our religion. When we ignore the moral imperatives of justice and truth, we make ourselves to be little gods. If we do not adore God, we are going to adore something in his place: money, fame, success, possessions, or even our very selves. Sin darkens the soul. Would we listen if God sent a prophet or a saint to us? Why should we listen to a prophet or a saint, if we do not bother to listen to his Church?

The Light came into the world but, "people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God." Every sin is a step into the darkness and a denial of the truth. Due to the darkness of sin, the sinner does not see well. For this reason, the Israelites preferred the darkness to the light. They enjoyed their sins more than they respected the messengers of God. They treated the prophets with contempt, the same way that they treated Jesus. What a shame it is, that we are no different today.

The immorality of our generation is destroying the faith of many. We learn our morality more from the television than from the Church. Our lives are no different than the rest of the world, with one exception: we go to the Holy Mass on Sunday - sometimes. We spend more time learning about our favorite sports team than about the teachings of the Church. We know what occurred in our favorite television program better than we know the Sacred Scriptures.

Something more is necessary than simply to assist at the Holy Mass. If our lives are lived contrary to the truth and the light, the Holy Mass by itself will not save us. Are our lives any different than those who do not believe? What are we to do? How is anyone able to be saved? The disciples asked this same question of Jesus, also. And Jesus said to them, "For man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible."

Saint Paul wrote to the Ephesians: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them." Saint James adds to this in his letter: "So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone mist say, 'You have faith and I have works.' Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble."

We cannot continue to live as the world lives. It is not sufficient to say: "I  believe in one God," if we do not say it with our lives. We must choose: will we prefer the Truth and the Light? or will we be satisfied with the darkness?

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