21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
What strikes me most today
This is the end of the first Chapter of Romans - I know it's a long quote, but it all seemed to go together and was important. It reminds me that any separation from God is a choice we make. God loves us; He wants us to love Him and be with Him for eternity - that's why He created us. It reminds me of St. Peter in Luke 5:8 after Jesus tells them to cast their nets again and they pull up a miraculous haul of fish. Peter realizes the miracle, and that being in the presence of Jesus is being in the presence of God. "When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, 'Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!'" (Lk 5:8). Notice it is not Jesus who tells Peter to go away from Him for being a sinful man - Peter is the one saying it.
When we choose to sin, we are in essence telling God to go away. Whether it is something as trivial as stretching the truth (lying), talking badly about others, overeating (gluttony), or any sin we may struggle with (and it's difficult not to struggle with sin in today's world) - we must try our best to avoid it, and when we falter (which we will since we are human), we have the gift of the Sacrament of Reconciliation to restore our relationship with God and give us the grace to persevere and try again to live the life we want to live in Jesus, the Divine Master.
What strikes you most today?
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