Monday, July 27, 2009

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses....

Earlier this month Sadie was "looking" at Nani's marigolds. If she was able to talk she very well may have told us that while she was looking at them a bunch of them just fell clear off the stems! Before Sadie was looking at them they were alive and well. After a few minutes of looking quite a few had lost their heads!

That's the kind of explanation I've heard toddlers come up with (my mom was a preschool teacher) and I was reminded of these excuses during the first reading this morning at Mass.

Moses comes down the mountain with the tablets and he hears a party. He gets closer and he sees the golden calf. He throws the tablets down and asks Aaron how he could have let this happen. And what is Aaron's response?

The people wanted a God when Moses disappeared up the mountain, so he told them to throw their gold jewelry into the fire. They threw their gold into the fire and out came the calf.

Everyone at Mass chuckled at the words because it's hard to imagine an adult coming up with that sort of an excuse... Aaron is telling Moses that they aren't really responsible for the calf, they just put the gold in (although he does admit that it was evil of them to want to create an idol in the first place) and it popped out.

Yet we live in a world where excuses that are just as ridiculous have become the norm. We hear excuses every day for every sort of behavior. While responsibility, and being responsible for our actions, are still looked on as positive virtues in theory, it often doesn't transfer over into reality.

A woman can make a very grown up choice that results in a pregnancy. And then she can say, quite simply, "I don't want it," and a doctor will murder her own child, tearing it from her womb. She may tell herself that she's not responsible for the life that she's killed, simply because it was her "choice" to have, or not have, a baby. That excuse sounds just as hollow as the "we threw it into the fire and this is what we got out" excuse.

These days our culture makes excuses for nearly every action. Pleasure and instant gratification seem to trump responsibility and obedience to God's will. And in a country where a great many things that are evil are "legal," irresponsible behavior is seen as a God-given right in the land of the free and the home of the brave. In their own way the excuses of our age are just as ridiculous as those that people were making thousand of years ago.

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