THE DARKNESS GROWS OVER TIME.
Driver’s Ed was an experience. First, I had to consciously put my foot on the brake early when approaching a Stop Sign. Then, after a time, I just did it. You know how it takes practice before something we do becomes automatic.
The Scribes and Pharisees didn’t wake up one day and say, “It’s time we get rid of Jesus.” Instead, there were many encounters where they questioned Jesus and even tried to trick him with absurd situations. When Jesus would not conform to their way of thinking, it was time for Him to go. “Better for one man to die than a whole nation,” Caiaphas, the High Priest, said to end a debate.
Sin anesthetizes us a little at a time. It starts in small doses. First, we think, “It’s just a little sin, angrily answer someone to get them off my back. I had to do it.” Then, the verbal abuse over time becomes physical. No longer does it bother the person. Gun violence follows the same pattern as all violence. The benchmark is “I have to do it to survive.” “Better for one man to die.
No matter how small, we lose peace of mind when we sin. So before we commit the act, we keep thinking about it, convincing ourselves it is the right thing to do. It’s like a hunger in our stomachs that won’t go away until we satisfy it. So the act keeps playing over and over in our minds. This line of thinking can go on for days.
The goodness of God in us dies a little bit more each day we live with these sins on our souls. Its fruit is frustration, impatience, and anger. So let Jesus deal with it in Confession. “Better for one man to die than the whole nation.”
IGNITE THE FIRE
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC