The theme of today’s first reading is very similar to yesterday’s theme. Paul invites us to make a choice. It is, at the same time, a simple choice and a difficult one. The options are very easy to discern: eternal life or eternal death. Putting the first in to practice is not as easy as we would probably like. We have become so used to the sin in our lives that we have grown comfortable with it. This is not a good thing at all.

The goal of conversion is to drive all comfort with sin out of our lives. God cannot abide with sin. He cannot stand it in His presence because He is all perfect. As soon as we choose to follow Him He begins the lifelong process of purification. The question that we have to answer for ourselves regards whether or not we are going to fully co-operate with this work of the Holy Spirit. Without our co-operation it cannot go ahead.

Paul calls us to place our lives at the service of righteousness and to give up serving vice and immorality. When we are confronted with choices we should look for the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit to direct us in the way we should go. Overcoming bad habits that have existed for a long time and replacing them with new ones that are holy, takes a long time. By the time a habit has formed there is an inclination within us to that course of action. This is great if it is a good action but terribly destructive of our spirits if it is not.

In my experience of trying to overcome bad habits I have found it necessary to absolutely convince myself of the need to change first. That is, I need to be convicted by the Holy Spirit of the need to change. When this conviction is there it is easier to do what is necessary to deny the temptation to sin when it comes. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will convict us of our sin and the battle is half won. Then it is a matter of developing a habit of virtue to replace the vice or habit of sin that is being driven from our lives.

Am I convinced that I need to purify my life of every sin and bad habit? Come Holy Spirit and drive far from my life any sin. Make me holy so that I may stand in the presence of God.

Lord Jesus, you have won fro me the victory over sin. Help me to live it to the full. Help me to persevere in living a virtuous life free from all sin and vices.