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Gospel for September 2, 2018
In today’s Gospel, Jesus says: “ Hear me and understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person, but things that come out from within are what defile. From within people, from their hearts come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, envy, blasphemy, arrogance and folly. All these come from within, and they defile.”
So, are we basically evil? The catholic belief is that we are basically good. Every person is made in the image and likeness of God and every person can bring a unique reflection of God to the world. Sin tempts us to do evil, but we can fight off the temptation. In Genesis 4, before Cain kills his brother Abel, God said to him, “ Sin is lurking at the door, its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
We have sin lurking at the door of our hearts. We must master it. We can best do this by keeping our hearts pure. We cannot allow that which is evil to have a toehold within us. That means that we have to be on our guard. A battle is being waged for our souls. Evil lurks. Suggestions are made: we hear people say things like: “ It’s not all that bad. It’s new world now.” We are in conversations where people say: “Living together is certainly now accepted even if the church says it is wrong. After all, social security checks are more important than traditional morality.” Or “ So what if you get drunk, everybody else does.”
Before we know what hits us, our thoughts have been turned to evil. We question what is right or wrong, and open the door for evil to take hold of our hearts.
We have to put up a fight against evil. We have to remain pure for the Lord. To do this we need the grace of the Sacraments, particularly penance. We need the strength of the Eucharist. And we need the company of our catholic community. We need positive friends.
Fr. Jonas msc