We are not alone in our struggle!

Clergy Corner by Fr. David A. Runnion

Clergy Corner for September 4, 2016, Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Wisdom 9:13-18b; Ps 90:3-6,12-17; Philemon 9-10,12-17; Luke 14:25-33
 


Even after Baptism, the effects of original sin remain. The term "concupiscence" refers to this weakened human condition and inclination to evil after sin's entry into the world. And, "the corruptible body burdens the soul" (Wis 9:15).

So, there is disorder in the body; the mind is obscured to God; and the power of the will toward the good is weakened, although it retains its freedom.

"Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ's grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle" (CCC 405). Now, we battle against the pleasures of the senses, covetousness for earthly goods, and self-assertion, contrary to the dictates of reason (see CCC 377).

Thus, as St. Paul says,

I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh…. For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want. Now if (I) do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me (Rm 7:18-20).

The good news, however, is that we are not left alone in this struggle. Christ the Redeemer came down from Heaven to win the victory for us. Our salvation lies in Him. Christ redeems us from sin and its bondage.

In Baptism, through Christ's merits, we receive purification from sins and new birth in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit vivifies, strengthens and guides us, helping us live for Christ and not for self, to carry our cross and follow Him, the New Adam, in obedience to God the Father. See Rm 8:11-14:

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit who dwells in you. So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Through the Lord's grace, may we continue to grow in the Spirit, for the glory of God.

Tags: Clergy Corner, Fr. Runnion
 

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