Before man are life and death, good and evil, whichever he chooses will be given him. Perhaps we may ask, why wouldn’t we always choose life? The Book of Sirach likens the choice of life with good, and death with evil. We speak of sin as a spiritual death, a failure to love, as God loves. The “life” is a life in Jesus Christ while we walk this earth and through all eternity.
St. Paul, in today’s selection from First Corinthians speaks similarly to us. We speak of wisdom to those are mature, not a wisdom of this age. In other words, we must choose the ways of God or the ways of the world. God’s wisdom is revealed to us through our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
God gives each person the gift of free will. With this gift, comes great responsibility. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us: “For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met. Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.” (CC1857) In other words, we knew it was a serious sin and with our free will, committed the sin. “Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God’s law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him.” CC1855
God deeply desires that we choose life in Him. God does not force us to choose Him. He respects our decision. When we choose sin, with a contrite heart, we go to Jesus, who forgives us in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Jesus is challenging us to a way of living that mirrors His life – a life of love. Jesus is calling us to love “radically”. This seems like an unattainable ideal. We must be attentive to what leads us to sin, a person, place or thing and allow the Holy Spirit to change our hearts. The Holy Spirit will keep us on the path to holiness. The Holy Spirit guides us to live in harmony with God’s Will. We pray as the Psalmist (Ps119): Instruct me, O Lord, in the way of your statutes, that I may exactly observe them.
May God bless us all always!