February 21, 2012 - Tuesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Readings

St. James calls us “adulterers”. Why does he feel so free to use such harsh language? Because it is true. The accusation he is making is true of every sinful human being, including St. James himself, I am sure. He called us adulterers because like an adulterer we are unfaithful to our true love. We love God, but we keep stepping out on him. Whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes themself an enemy of God. There is no way to reconcile our love of God with our love of the world. It is adultery.

God is jealous. Like any true lover, he is not willing to have his beloved be unfaithful. So what should we do? We cannot hide our affair with the world from God. He sees all and knows all. Our unfaithfulness is done in his sight. When we go to God to admit our sins, our unfaithfulness, he already knows all about it. He wants us to admit it so that he can forgive us. If we are too proud to admit our inconsistency, then we have no hope. God resists the proud. But if we are humble and put ourselves in God’s hands, he will give us grace.

When we are tempted to sin, giving in never does the least good. Even if our struggle with temptation is painful, especially when our struggle with temptation is painful, we are accomplishing great things. When we resist temptation, we put up a defense against Satan. When we give in to temptation, we welcome the devil right in. And it will be harder the next time, harder to resist, easier for him to get in.

Our relationship with God is never very close if we are unfaithful to him. If I loved him as he loved me, I would never sin; I would never abandon him in search of what only he can offer me. God has come from heaven to earth to be with us. He comes as close as he possibly can, inches away, but these last inches cannot be crossed by him lest he destroy my free will. Is God too far away? The distance between you and God is the arms length that you hold him away at. The only thing stopping God from embracing you totally, is your own will. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.