“Do not conform yourselves to this age,” cries St. Paul. Saint Paul knows human nature. He knows that conformity is a deep-seated need within each of us.
As young children, we conform to the values of our parents as set in the home.
As teenagers, however, another set of values are presented to us and there is a strong need to conform to the values of our peers.
Sadly, this involves experimentation with alcohol, drugs, and promiscuity that are activities completely against the Gospel.
No one wants to be left out of the “in-crowd”, and so we conform to this age. Young adults conform, too.
We live in a culture that casually accepts living together without commitment.
Marriage, which in Christ’s view means being faithful to one’s spouse in good times and in bad, in sickness, and in health, until death, is no longer viewed by many as the sacred institution it is.
It is not easy to resist the many temptations that come our way today.
The father of lies, the great deceiver, the seducer of souls, is going about trying to get us to conform to the values of this age.
A living person in a mother’s womb is called “protoplasm” and so it is easier to remove this life when we call it by some other name.
When we see a culture in the United States move from abortion being a tragic personal choice to something that is just health care, we cannot remain passive or silent to the defenseless and voiceless babies in the womb. Only wanted children survive in the present age.
Putting an elderly parent to death is called mercy killing or assisted suicide.
We hear much these days about values- family values, personal values, national values.
We have to be careful because, all too often truth, decency, morality – these essential pillars of society, can decay from within.
It happened in ancient Rome.
Saint Paul was an eye-witness to the decline. He watched the Roman Empire collapse upon itself. That’s why he pleaded with the Christian community in Rome not to conform to this age.
It can happen again in our society, in our country, if we are not vigilant.
Life calls for vigilance.
There are temptations out there that would destroy us if we would let them. But the greatest temptation we face is the temptation to be less than what Jesus has called us to be.
We are called to be men and women of integrity and truth.
We are urged not to “conform ourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of our minds so that we may discern what is God’s Will.
What is good and pleasing and perfect.”
In God’s Will is our peace.
Today we pray with the psalmist, “O God, you are my God Whom I seek, not the world.”