First Reading: Hag 1:1-8; Psalm: 149. R. v. 4a; Gospel: Lk 9:7-9
THE HUMAN CONSCIENCE
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
“Don’t say those words that will hurt people. Don’t do those things that will hurt people. The things you say today will come and haunt you tomorrow. The things you do today will come and haunt you tomorrow” (An excerpt from Lucky Dube’s “Shut up”)
The human conscience is a beautiful gift from God. It is the voice of God within us that guides our actions. It is a judgment of reason that enables us to discern right and wrong actions. The conscience warns us like a teacher but punishes us like a judge. Evil actions are always premeditated. During the thought process, if we listened to our conscience, we would hear that voice inside of us reprimanding us against an intending evil action. But at times, we do not listen and our conscience comes back to judge us.
If we knew that an action was evil and went ahead to do it; we cannot be the same again. Our knowledge of the rightness or wrongness of an action is already a guide and at the same time a judge to us. The human conscience speaks to us of this knowledge. Why was Herod troubled on hearing about Jesus and the many good things he did? Why was he perplexed about the opinion of the people that this could be John whom he killed? Our past has a way of haunting us. If Herod hadn’t killed John, he wouldn’t have felt this way.
The formation of Christian conscience is an essential part of our faith training. The Church through her teachings rooted in the gospel trains us to have good moral conscience. A well formed Christian conscience becomes our guide to doing God’s will. So, every true believer of the gospel has the conscience as the centre of discernment to deciding the rightness or wrongness of intending actions. Because God speaks from within the human conscience. The reason we often feel worried, ashamed and unhappy when we fail in our relationship with God is because we failed to listen to the voice of the conscience. But we can find true peace and happiness when we cooperate with God who guides us deep within our hearts.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, we pray for the docility to adhere to your warnings and for the courage to put them to action. Amen.