Friday of the Twenty-EighthWeek in Ordinary Time
The battle against the sin
Meanwhile, so many people were crowding together that they were trampling one another underfoot. He began to speak, first to his disciples, “Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees. “There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops. I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one. Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows. Lk 12,1-7
Today, the Lord tells us: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body … be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna”. In other words: “Be not afraid for the death of the body, fear the sin which is death of the soul”. The death and the sin are bound together, as two sides of the same coin, and Jesus came to free us from both of them. Being free from the sin, so we are from the death, which, however, remains apparent in the world as a reality. How is it possible, however, to be free from the sin even if Paul says: “So, then, I discover the principle that when I want to do right, evil is at hand “(Rm 7,21)? We are subject to the law of the sin like to that of the gravity. We inherited it from Adam, as a witness which we pass from father to son. We will have to fight the battle against it every day of the life, like every day we cut the beard, but, as a beard, it always will raise again. The only way we have to combat it is to remain in communion with the Lord, who, being born and having lived without sin, transfers the witness of the holiness.
It is a relay race which we have to run, holding in one hand the witness of the sin, delivered to us by Adam, and in the other that of the holiness, handed down to us by Jesus. Even if we act to the best to give up the first and only to pursue the second, we will never succeed. We can only fight as we do with the beard which always crops up. We know the means available to achieve this: these are the prayer, the meditation on the Holy Scriptures, the eucharist, the confession and the fasting. If we put it into practice with perseverance, we will build up the path to the holiness, although being not able to reach it: and in the end we will be not thrown into the Gehenna because we have fought, not because we have won. The God’s mercy is rooted in this our personal battle.