Be A Real Christian 12th February, 2017
Man by nature is not robotic. What this means is that, God has endowed man with the gift of free will. With this free will, man is able to decide for the self in life. Either to choose the good and embrace its dictates or to choose evil.The abuse of free will accounts for the sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve. God could have easily prevented their sin, but He expected them to use responsibly the free will He gave them. Whenever we sin, we abuse the free will which has been given to us by God. Being free is not just doing what we want irrespective of its implication, but choosing good over evil; light over darkness; purity over sin; God over Satan.
This assertion is beautifully expressed in the first reading of today (Sirach 15:15-20) when we hear that we are free and accountable for our own actions. The first reading tells us that we are at a crossroad with one road leading to life and the other road leading to death. We are to choose from these roads. The way to life is dependent on following the commandments of God. It appears difficult and unrewarding, but it leads to union with God. The way to death is seen in neglecting the commandments of God. It appears to be rewarding, sweet and smooth.
How can we know the path to God? Jesus, in the Gospel reading of today (Matthew 5: 17-37) shows us the way. The whole of Matthew chapter 5 is dedicated to the sermon of Jesus on the mount. Jesus teaches us on topics such as: fulfilment of the Old covenant, anger, adultery, divorce and oath.
- Anger is an emotion which is not always sinful. What will make anger to be sinful is that which is making us angry and what we do whenever we are angry. That is why Ephesians 4:26 will tell us that “Be angry, but do not be willing to sin. Do not let the sun set over your anger.”
- In the English language, the word “hypocrite” is translated as “actor or a mask wearing person” in the Greek language. Whenever we watch any movie, we see movie stars performing. The role they play in movies is not the actual reflection of their lives. In other words, while acting, they put on “masks.” This is Jesus’ admonition to us when He says “For I tell you, if your virtue goes no deeper than that of the Scribes and the Pharisees, you will never get into the Kingdom of heaven.”
Our lives as people of faith must not be hypocritical, but it should be realistically true and authentic. Your being a Christian must not be seen in just your going to Church everyday, but in your everyday life. Are you ready to be a real Christian in the true sense of the word?