Skip to main content

Our Daily Struggles

Over the years, students and my own children have asked for advice about what they should talk about during the sacrament of Reconciliation. They haven’t killed anybody, haven’t stolen anything, they've generally been honest, and certainly not adulterous. My usual guidance is that they ask themselves what their role has been in any breakdown of a relationship with someone, or with God, and go from there. I suppress the urge to remind my children about honouring their parents.  

Most of the sins of the Ten Commandments are not the stuff of everyday life, for many of us anyway. However, what we find in today’s Gospel is solid guidance for us all. What Jesus describes are daily struggles, and there are plenty of them.  

I know people who have made themselves sick with anger and resentment; bitterness can span decades, especially those held within families. I sometimes find myself thinking darkly about random individuals who have hit a nerve with me as I’ve gone about my business, and it is poisonous. I need to make a daily request that God remove these thoughts. It is the only way for me, and it works.  

We have all worried for friends who developed crushes on inappropriate people, whether it be a work colleague or celebrity. It can be horribly destructive to the relationships that matter to us, including with our spouse and our connection with God. The clever people who administer marriage preparation programmes within the church, talk about love being a decision you make every day. So, surely we can make the decision not to have inappropriate feelings? (For Viggo Mortenson in my case – sorry.) Likewise, we are able to make decisions regarding all that Jesus warns us of in today’s Gospel.  

Like a good parent, Jesus lays out a set of rules to live by. This is not because He wants to control us or make life difficult for us. It is because He is looking after us. Jesus shows us a way of being that leads to contentment. He knows what is good for us. He wants us to enjoy happy lives and be loved by others.  

Isn’t that what we all wish for our children?  

Lord, I ask for your help to let go of resentments, and to live as you taught us to live. Remove those thoughts that are barriers to my usefulness to you and to others. Help me to live cleanly and honestly, and to see You in the people I meet today.     Amen 

#gospelreading #prayer #tencommandments #scripturereflection #reconciliation #sin

Source: 6th Sunday of Ordinary Time

This Sunday , Favourite