One of the ever-present dangers in any profession is that we choose to address only the problems that we can solve easily and leave the hard ones for someone else. We may well be successful at solving the easy problems but what about the more difficult ones that are usually the source of the easy ones in the first place? If we go to the root of the problem and fix it there we will probably remove the smaller and easier problems at the same time as we address the root issue! This is what Jesus is trying to do in today’s dialogue with the crowd. In the second part of the Gospel Jesus explains this to His disciples.

The big question that arises from all of this is, “Are we, ourselves, guilty of failing to address the root causes of sin in our lives?” Another way of looking at it can be to examine whether or not we constantly find ourselves addressing the symptoms or manifestations of sin in our lives or are we working at finding and curing the origins of these manifestations? Do we constantly blame external factors for our failures or do we look for the root cause, the primary choice within and under our own control that has led to or at least contributed to the manifestations of sin that we observe in our lives? Adam and Eve were great blamers of others for their sins. The only way to get rid of our sins and more importantly the causes of our sins is to take responsibility for it and then do something about it!

The truth of what Jesus says is self-evident. If we are honest with ourselves we will recognize that all of our sins per se have at their origins a decision that we make in our hearts to follow a particular course of action. There may well be external factors that contribute to this decision but this does not change the fact that the decision lies within our own realm of responsibility. You and I have chosen to do something that is based in sin and we must be willing to recognize this or it will be impossible to address the problem.

Do I properly address the root causes of sin in my life or do I avoid going to the heart of the problem?

Lord Jesus, help me to take proper responsibility for my actions so that I can progress along the path of holiness by addressing the origins of sin in my life and by your grace bringing them to conversion.