Read Romans 6:12-18, Ps. 124, Luke 12:39-48

“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16)

According to Pope St. John Paul II, “Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.” To be free is to make the right choices at any point. In today’s first reading, St. Paul tells us we could be slaves to sin if we cannot say “No” to temptations. This kind of slavery is worse than physical slavery. You strongly desire to stop a sinful act but keep doing it.

St. Paul said: “I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do… Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Romans 7:18-24). Today's Responsorial Psalm answers this: “Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.” Like branches, we must remain connected to Jesus (the vine) to remain alive. (Cf. John 15:5)

In the Stations of the Cross, we learn that falling is not the problem; refusing to get up destroys us. Every time Jesus fell under the heavy weight of the cross, he struggled to pick up again. The battle against sin will not end until we draw our last breath. Do not give up the fight. The book of Hebrews says: “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” (Hebrews 12:3-5).

St. Paul tells us today: “Do not yield your members to sin as an instrument, but yield yourselves to God.” There is an extent to which a slave would give trouble that the master will have no choice but to let the slave go. You only become a slave when you stop resisting and give up the struggle.

In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus continues his sermon on the need for preparedness for eternal life. Peter asked Jesus: “Are you telling this parable to us (the disciples) or everyone?” Jesus said: “Who is the faithful and wise steward that his master finds at his duty when he arrives? Blessed is that steward…”

In other words, as leaders in the church, we are not exempt from obeying God’s commandments. We can be called upon at any time to give an account of ourselves and the souls put under our charge. If we fail to show a good example (if we give up the battle against sin), our punishment will be more severe.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, grant me freedom from the control of my flesh. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Wednesday of week 29 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Romans 6:12-18, Ps. 124, Luke 12:39-48).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu