DISTURBED PERSONS AND FREEDOM OF CHOICE
Two news articles are fresh in my mind as I write. There is the killing of the TV news people in the US by a former station colleague. There is a stabbing of a man in a school car park at pick up time.
The gospel today from St Mark records Our Lord teaching that evil comes out of our hearts. He was being chipped by some of the religious leaders of his day over his disciples not observing all the rituals required for ritual cleanness. This is ritual uncleanness not moral uncleanness. Rather than answer their question about the disciples Jesus moved into another time of teaching.
What strikes me in the two incidents is the planning involved. The gunman chooses his weapon and checks the time the colleagues are going to be out or perhaps follows them from the station. He brings a camera to record what he is doing.
The car park fight sees one man putting a knife in his pocket before going out. He is prepared to use it and does use it.
Whatever mitigating circumstances may have existed in either incident we are seeing people freely choosing to let the evil they have in their heart to become real in the world. As a result comes death and injury, tragedy and sorrow. This is what Our Lord was talking about. Evil of this kind, the fruit of human hands, does not happen without our cooperation. Sin is never something that happens by accident. There has to be deliberate intent and whatever is done, done freely. That is what sin is.
God entered into a covenant with Moses and the chosen people and their side of the agreement was to obey the law that Moses had received from God. Faithfully observing what was in the law was the way each member of the people ratified the agreement. As they fulfilled each precept they remembered that God had taken them from slavery in Egypt and allowed them to be free to choose their own destiny.
We too are free to choose our own destiny. Sin robs us of the freedom God wants us to have to able to do good. We willingly return to slavery and turn our backs on God.
Recognise what is stirring in your heart. Recognise the evil that you are capable of and to prevent it taking shape set your own heart close to the Lord’s heart that carries a wound that allows his life-giving love to come to us.
Fr Adrian Farrelly
|Aug 31, 2015
|22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 30.08.2015