Scathing words to the rich today from James 5. Funny thing about wealth, isn’t it? We work so hard to accumulate it here on earth, to the point where it imperils our souls. Yet we can’t take it with us. Harsh words for the richest people in the world. (And I ain’t talking about Bill Gates and Warren Buffet here, you know.) In today’s Gospel, Jesus gives us the remedy for sin…”If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.”
Theologians will tell you that Jesus is using a literary device here called hyperbole. He’s going way over the top to make his point. We don’t really have to cut off our hands or feet, or pluck out our eyes. Jesus is saying that we need to take drastic measures to root sin out of our lives. How drastic?
If God said to you, “I will take away your eyesight, and you will no longer struggle with sins of lust,” would you do it? I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty attached to my eyesight. Is that a tradeoff I would be willing to make? Honestly, I doubt it. And that’s my problem. If I’m not willing to go to any lengths to cut sin out of my life, then I still have a lot of work to do. And, believe me, I still have a lot of work to do. How about you?
Father, help us today to be willing to do whatever it takes to remove sin from our lives. Give us an ever greater desire to be holy, as You are holy. Amen.