Our Faith Will Save Us from Sin and Death

MONDAY: Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time


Our Faith Will Save Us from Sin and Death

Do not grow disenchanted over your sinfulness and your feeling of unworthiness before God. You are not alone in your struggles with sin (Rom.11:32). Instead, be leery of your arrogance, stubbornness, ignorance of faith and grace. Our omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient God knows every detail of our conduct (Ps.139). Still, he takes no pleasure in our destruction (Ezek.18:23). A humble contrite heart the Lord promised, he would not spurn (Ps.50:17). He who confesses his sins will find mercy (Prov.28:13). We have the complete assurance given us by Christ, despite our sinfulness and unworthiness God is unwilling to condemn us (Jn.3:17).

Isaiah confessed he was a man of unclean lips and the Lord purged him (Is.6:5). David confesses he was a sinner through and through and God forgave him (Ps.50; Ps.32). Peter told Christ he is a sinner; the Lord did not deprive him of the leadership of the Church (Lk.5:8). The woman at the well confessed her adulterous life; the Lord offered her the spring of living water (Jn.4:18). Zacchaeus confessed his dishonesty; the Lord forgave him and dined with him (Lk.19:5). Mary Magdalene, an infamous woman sat at his feet, the scribes and Pharisees condemned her; Christ forgave her many sins (Lk.7:38). Among them was a centurion who confessed his unworthiness and wanted to debar Christ Jesus from entering his home. Jesus remarked I have never seen faith like this in Israel (Matt.8:5-13).

As an introduction to the Sign of Peace the celebrant prays as follows: “Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles: Peace I leave you, my peace I give you; look not on our sins, but in the faith of your Church and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will.” In this prayer, the Church takes full cognizance of her sinfulness. She clothes herself in humility and obedience; she relies on the evidence of faith; she places her total trust in God’s compassion, love, mercy, and solidarity believing that God will restore her holiness and eternal peace just as he promised (2Chr.7:14; Jer.11:29).

We must never cease praying when we are in the doldrums. I have seen many people brought back from the jaws of death through the prayers of others. Remember the words of Jesus: “everything you ask and pray for, believe that you have it already, and it will be yours (Mk.11:24).” Jesus never qualified what we should ask for in prayer. Instead, Christ laments the fact that until now we have asked for nothing. He urges us to ask, we will receive, and our joy will be complete (Jn.16:24).

Luke.7:1-10 is a perfect scenario of our commonplace delusion that because we are sinners God will avoid us and will stay far from our doors and our lives. The contrary is true. God loves us even while we are still sinners and hence the reason he came to save us (Rom.5:8). Today’s Gospel is a beautiful portrayal of God’s intent to restore our peace and wholeness. While the centurion was busy confessing his sinfulness and unworthiness, Christ was simultaneously admiring his humility, obedience and faith. Did Christ condemn him? Did Christ ostracized the centurion? No! Christ listened to the prayers of the faithful as well and he answered the need of the centurion.

In response to this, Paul reminds us that peace is not the absence of war. However, prayer, faith and repentance can avert any failure or human destruction affecting the historical, social, political, economic and religious order in which we live today. Therefore, Paul invites us to join our voices and raise our hand in prayer, praying for everyone, even those in authority and the peace that surpasses human understanding will be our gift through Christ who reconciles us to himself.

Lord, I lift your name on high. Though I am still an unworthy sinner, I trust in your divine love and mercy. Let your grace flow into my direction and your peace will rests on me.

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