Year A: 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: Ecclesiasticus 15: 15-20
The First Reading picks up the theme of the choices laid before people - but it is put even more starkly - the choice between life and death.
It seems rather daunting to think that we have such a choice - that we decide whether we behave faithfully or not - and that God sees everything.
It is important to be faced with such realities from time-to-time so that we grow to take responsibility for our actions.
There are a very few unfortunate people who genuinely do not have a choice. Perhaps because of brain damage - or serious abuse as a child - some people cannot control their behaviour and can end up in serious trouble because of this. Where this happens, it is tragic for all concerned - the victim - their family - the perpetrator -and their family - the whole of society feels the consequence of such uncontrolled behaviour.
However, the desperate plight of such people is exploited by others who do not have such excuses. They may have had problems in the past and need help in dealing with them - but quite often it is not help they are looking for but an excuse.
It is easier to blame someone or something else that to begin to take responsibility for oneself.
It is a sin most of us are guilty of at one time or another - human nature hasnít changed since the story of Adam and Eve was told. However, to refuse to recognise that one can choose good or evil - right or wrong - is a sign of immaturity and, as the reading says, we canít hide our true motives from God. God can tell the difference between the acts of a person whose mind is desperately confused - and those of someone who could make a choice.
It is a reminder that, though we may be called to be child-like in some things - the choice between life and death - good or evil is a choice of maturity.
What does it mean for me?
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