Sunday, November 13, 2011
Christ Unites What Sin Divides
Epistle: Phil. 1:6-11 ["He who hath begun a good work in you, will perfect it"]
Gospel: Mt. 22:15-21 [Paying Taxes to Caesar]
Many times people wonder why us faithful Catholics get so stressed out over sin. Sin degrades human beings. Original sin weakens and degrades human beings as a race. Personal sin weakens and degrades us individually. Sin, while giving us passing happiness, separates us from God, Who alone can give us lasting joy. Only Christ can survive death, so to survive our own eventual and inevitable deaths, we must be joined to Him. So not only is the happiness that sin offers passing, but it separates us from God, so when we die, it's forever. Thus we cry out in today's Introit, "If Thou shalt observe iniquities, O Lord, Lord, who shall endure it?" Not only does sin separate us from God, but in our quest for it's happiness, we will take advantage of those around us and degrade them to objects of our own pleasure. The value of a person is measured on their ability and willingness to make you happy. Those who give you the physical or emotional pleasure you seek are seen as good and those who refuse to support your passing, sinful pleasure are seen as evil. Sin only divides and seeks to gain. It divides us from God and pushes us to use each other for our own pleasure.
Love is the extreme opposite. Love only unites and seeks to give. Love sees that sin degrades the person from the dignity for which God created them. Love is a grace from God that pushes you to give yourself completely for the good of another, that they might attain the dignity for which God created them. When you love someone, you don't care if you reach some sort of happy life, you only care if the person attains the dignity for which God created them. In today's Epistle, St. Paul pours forth with this love for his spiritual children. This is how God wants us to live, helping each other attain the dignity for which God created us, both in this life and the next. This only unites. This only elevates the dignity of all those involved in the love. This only gives for the good of the other. You don't care about your own happiness, but only the Divinely created dignity of the other. You don't feel like you have a right to anything or are entitled to anything, you only care about the Divinely-created dignity of the other.