Cutting Sin Out of Our Lives

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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 Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos 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.

Today's Readings

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1 comment

  • Carl : May 24, 2024

    Amen Gus! Like you, I too have plenty of work to do. I consider recognizing that a great gift which helps me to avoid complacency.

    I have been blessed to have many wonderful people as part of my life’s journey. One who came to mind as I read your reflection was a professor I hade a long time ago. I had commented how I hoped to someday “have all the answers” like she did. Her response? My prayer for you is that you never feel that way. The older I get, the more I realize just how much I don’t know.

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