Monday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 347

To the penitent God provides a way back,
he encourages those who are losing hope
and has chosen for them the lot of truth.

Sin offers the appearances of a way out of our difficulties. Whether the problem is marital conflict, financial straits, terminal illness, unplanned pregnancy, or any of innumerable other problems great and small, sin offers an escape. This is true both for individuals and for groups of people. Always there are "simple, clean and wrong solutions" to thorny problems.

The wrongness of these solutions may, on the surface, appears as nothing more than moral. "What's wrong with it?" people ask. "Prove to me it's wrong, and without any of your religious poppycock!" Pragmatism wants cause and effect; the explanation should be as simple as putting a match to gasoline or a pin to a balloon.

Nor will they listen to threats. They do not suppose the disappearance of family life, the plagues of addiction and suicide, and the election of a narcissist to the highest office in the land are the direct results of widespread, legal abortion. They do not believe God can or should intervene in human affairs, not even to punish wickedness and reward the just.

But for those who are ready to do justice, love the right and walk humbly with our God, the Lord provides a way back. He encourage those who are losing hope.

The way is necessarily through the narrow gate which many avoid. It involves faith and a readiness to walk through a cloud of unknowing when no obvious answer appears. The just suffer affliction like everyone else, but they do not grab at simple, clean and wrong solutions. Nor do they suppose they have all the resources of crafty intelligence to fabricate an ingenious answer to their problems. Rather, they pray, study, discuss and wait for God to show the way.

Trust in the Lord  with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not. In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths.  Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Proverbs 3:5 

The wise know that God's way do not include immorality. Sin and death offer no solutions.

At one time divorce was supposed to save women from abusive men; abortion was supposed to assure all children would be wanted and loved; narcotics could relieve all pain; laws could prevent crime; and gay marriage would rid the world of sexual perversity. Sin keeps no promises.

God has chosen for us the lot of truth. He continually calls to us, "Here is the way, walk in it."

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.