From a Creighton Student's Perspective
October 20th, 2008
Sophomore, English Major with a concentration in Creative Writing & Theater
This first reading is so encouraging and yet still reminds us of the dangers of living in this world. In this exile, this world of sin, the “spirit” of “disobedience” tempts us in “the desires of the flesh.” This isn’t to mean that our physical bodies are inherently evil (quite the opposite!); rather, it means that since sin entered this earthly world, humans are tempted to turn from God, from our spiritual relationship with him, and dwell in the “spirit” of sin.
But by the Father’s gift of his one Son, we “have been saved through faith.” And this isn’t of our own doing; we have no power in it. We must either be slaves to sin or slaves to God’s merciful love. What a gift this is! We “are created in Christ Jesus for good works” despite our sins, and it is because he has been so merciful and forgiving, that we owe him everything and ought to live our lives for his glory alone. No matter the extent of our sin, we are forgiven, and when we “sing joyfully,” we sing the song of mercy by which Christ desires us to live. Therefore, “the Lord made us, we belong to him.”
The Gospel reminds us again of the temptations of this earthly world, particularly the temptation of greed. The material possessions we can attain here are nothing in comparison to the holiness to which God calls us. That is not to say that owning material possessions is in itself sinful; this ownership only becomes sinful when it distracts us from greater goods, in this case, particularly the virtues of selflessness and generosity. God wants us to “rest, eat, drink, and be merry” because we live by “what matters to [him],” not because we have selfishly guarded our earthly possessions.
In this end, it is God’s hand guiding and shaping our lives. The temptation to sin is present in this sinful world, but the Father has sent his Son whose grace redeems us, and the Holy Spirit is ever present, aiding us in our battle. One prayer from the psalms that I often repeat reminds me to be humble and to give all glory to God: “Show me, Lord, your way so that I may walk in your truth. Guide my heart to fear your name” (Ps. 86: 11).
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