September 25, 2012 - Tuesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Proverbs 21:1-6, 10-13
Psalm 119:1, 27, 30, 34-35, 44
Luke 8:19-21

What is the good life? Many people think that the good life is a life of sin. The very best life would be to do whatever sin seems best and then to repent in the end and go to heaven. This is what the proverb means, “All the ways of man may be right in his own eyes, but it is the Lord who weighs the heart.” We think that sin is happiness, and feel torn between following that happiness and being perpetually disappointed in hopes of eternal life. God is our enemy, keeping us from being happy in this life. All of us are susceptible to this mistaken belief because of original sin. Ever since we ate that fruit and gained the knowledge of good and evil, we have had our own personal morality that is at odds with God.

Consider it this way: What if God offered you a chance to sit down and rewrite the Ten Commandments? Not only that, but all of morality. What if you could put down, definitively, the rules of right and wrong? What would they say? Which rules would you change? What forbidden thing would you allow? What permitted thing would you forbid? Do you think that you improved anything? Do you know how much the human heart weighs and every measure of it? Do you know all the mysteries of the universe? Were you there when God created the galaxies? No. So how is it that we think we could improve on God’s law? If anyone thinks that they know more than God, then they do not know who God is. What arrogance that requires! But we all invent our own personal morality. We sin because we have decided that what we are doing is not wrong after all; we have decided that we know more than God.

We repeated in the psalm, “Guide me, Lord.” This prayer is asking the Lord for freedom from independence. If we choose our own way and do what seems best in our own eyes, we will go wrong. If we do the word of the Lord, we cannot go wrong. God does not want our obedience because he wants to set artificial limits on our happiness. God knows what is good for us and what will harm us. Father knows best. Even if we cannot understand a particular rule, it is clear that since God is never wrong, he must be right.