One of the descriptions that St Paul gives of the sinful person in his Letter to the Romans is that of suppressing the truth (Rom 1:18). This is, in his opinion, is the fundamental sin of humanity. Today’s reading from the Book of Wisdom allows us to examine this idea from a slightly different perspective.

The opening line affirms that the reasoning of the godless is misguided. This is evident to us, as we know that God is truth and that all truth comes from Him (c.f. Jn 14:6). So often when we look at the world and its priorities it is quite easy to recognize the futility of so much that men and women give their lives to! The great challenge for Christians is to discern how we can live in the world without allowing its misguided reasoning to control the ways in which we think, act and live.

This is not necessarily an easy task. If we are going to do this successfully we will have to find a way to remain rooted in the truth that comes from God, while at the same time relating to a world that is so often given over to untruth. The fundamental cause of the downfall of any civilization or empire is not the overwhelming force of another power, but the corruption that arises from within. What I mean by this is to say that history tells us that the cause of a nation’s downfall has always been primarily influenced by the moral bankruptcy of that nation’s culture.

The Greek and Roman Empires of 2000+ years ago collapsed because they lost sight of the moral nature of the human person and gave in to the sins that so readily accompany wealth and power, namely decadence and corruption. This is the primary reason while they fell! The same will be true of our so-called ‘Western Culture’ if we do not re-establish it on the truths or norms that pertain to the human person – the truths that we find so evident in the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

This is the task that we face as Christians in a Post-Modern world. It will not be easy. But as Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians, or at least words to this effect: “It may be a wicked age, but by your lives you should redeem it!” (Eph 5:16)

In what ways have I given in to the thinking of the world and forgotten the truths of the Gospel in my life? What am I going to do about this?

Lord Jesus, you came to redeem the world from sin. Help me to be a force for good and a witness to the truth of your victory over sin and death.