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Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus teaches that evil comes from within. From our hearts “come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.” 

The Church teaches that such evils are consequences of original sin. The doctrine holds that there is something fundamentally off about us, that all is not well, that we are off-kilter, skewed, mixed up. We Catholics don’t hold to a doctrine of total depravity, but we do indeed hold that original sin has worked its way into every nook and cranny of our lives: our minds, our wills, our desires and passions, even our very bodies.

As G.K. Chesterton argued a century ago, original sin is the only doctrine for which there is empirical evidence, for we can feel it within ourselves and we can see the effects of it everywhere.

One of the surest signs of our dysfunction is that we tend to celebrate all of the wrong people and despise or look down upon the best people. Pay very close attention to the people that you don’t like, to those that you consider obnoxious; it might tell you a lot about your own spiritual state.