Assigning Blame

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In today’s Gospel reading from Mark 8, we read about a miracle. Jesus feeds four thousand people with seven loaves and a few fish. And after everyone had eaten their fill, they picked up the fragments left over and got seven baskets full. Now that’s love!

In the first reading today from Genesis 3, God discovers that the man and the woman figured out that they were naked, and they were ashamed. God knew that they had eaten of the fruit which He had forbidden them to eat. The man says, “The woman gave it to me!” And the woman says, “The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.” This always reminds me of the old Flip Wilson sketch where he says, “The devil made me do it!” (A reference that probably few people will get!)

While in a sense the woman was correct, she, and the man, were trying to stick the blame on someone else. “It’s not my fault!” From the beginning, they refused to take responsibility for their own actions. But God would not give them a pass. He banished them from the garden, and death entered the world. Isn’t this kind of part of the human condition? It is much easier to point a finger at someone else than to admit that we messed up. But when it comes right down to it, it wasn’t the devil that ate the fruit. We can always exercise our free will to say NO to Satan. Trouble is, we don’t do that often enough. When we do sin, let’s stop pointing fingers and assigning blame. Perhaps it’s time to man up and admit our wrongdoing and take our medicine.

Father, forgive us for the many times we want to assign blame to someone else for our wrongdoing. Help us to say NO to the devil, so that we won’t have to point fingers elsewhere. Amen.

Today's Readings

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