6th Sunday In Ordinary Time
Fr. Mark Gatto
Preached: February 16, 2020
Catholic morality is more than just following a set of rules. The commandments of God is more than just arbitrary rules God imposes.
Catholic morality and the commandments of God are like light that allows us to see a good path to follow. A path that leads to goodness, to peace. Our choices, our decisions in life, they matter. They make a difference.
God has given us freedom to make decisions and choices in our life. But, there are consequences to this freedom, to these choices and decisions. As the Book of Sirach, that wisdom literature from the Old Testament says in our first reading, “Before each person are life and death, good and evil…”
The commandments lead us to peace, to life. People do not normally choose evil or choose to sin because they want to suffer or hurt others. But we can be convinced falsely that the evil choice or the sinful path is actually something that will be good for us. That it will bring us happiness or something more in life. We are easily led in this false direction. But, our choices make a real difference to us and to others.
Our choices today as a human race are crucial, truly between life and death. When we look at the weapons we have today, the nuclear weapons that exist, our decisions that lead to conflict, to war, are capable of leading to incredible destruction, even destroying our world. It is for this reason, that it is crucial that we make decisions that lead to peace, to overcome divisions, to change our reliance on military power.
When we look at the reality of climate change, global warming, environmental damage, again it is crucial that we make decisions that face this situation honestly. Refusing to make good decisions in this area is capable of leading to great destruction of this planet we live on, destroying many species and eventually doing great harm to the ecological world we rely on for our life.
So, our decisions and choices as a human race matter greatly.
Our decisions and choices as individuals also have great potential for harm. When I am not faithful to my promises, when I lie, when I cheat, when I am greedy, and so on, this harms me personally but also harms others near me. Broken families, loneliness, poverty, these are caused by human sin, by decisions and choices people make which lead to harm.
If you are being tempted to make a choice or a decision that you know to be sinful, do not allow anyone to convince you that it does not matter. It does matter. It makes a difference. It will create a path which will not lead you to ultimate peace, it will result in harm for others, in your family, in your community.
Jesus says he did not come to abolish the law. But, he is calling us to do more than just follow rules. We are to become people capable of making good decisions, good choices. That we learn to use our freedom in a way that brings life to us and to others. Do not accept mediocrity.
Your decisions and choices matter.