Mercy Awaits Every Sinner
THURSDAY: Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Mercy Awaits Every Sinner
Obstacles are merely obstructions along the path to our destination. We remove them; we forge ahead until we get to the last stop. Sin is no different. They are spiritual hurdles; sin challenges our spiritual growth but the power of divine grace supersedes its efforts when we cooperate with God’s love plan of salvation. Acknowledgement of our sins enables us to grow in humility and meekness. Cognizance of our sins enables us to intensify our efforts to rise in holiness in Christ Jesus and to set our eyes on our eternal inheritance with Christ.
David in Psalms 32 and 50 respectively acknowledged humankind’s sinfulness is an innate human condition but without humility and meekness, humankind is doomed to remain perpetual victims. However, humankind has the same innate power, provided to them through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, strengthened by faith in Christ Jesus and the grace of God freely bestowed upon humankind for humankind’s sanctification and salvation. When humankind embraces God’s offer, they can save themselves from spiritual defection, which is the deliberate intention of the one who tempts them to commit sin. Christ Jesus during his temptations stalled the devil’s attempts by relying on the word of God. He never defected from his Father’s will.
Sin is never personal. It is never a private affair. It has ripple effects. It can cause some very serious mental, spiritual, emotional, physical and social problems (Ps.32; Prov.28:13). Some of these spiritual troubles are not concealable. They are public knowledge and personal embarrassment that can drive individuals into seclusion. The truth is, with God and with Christ, there are never secrets. On the other side, however, while the public may judge and castigate sinners the Lord invites sinners to bring all their obstacles to him and they will find rest for their souls (Matt.11:28). Humankind has the Lord’s assurance if they conceal their sins, they will suffer in silence, but if they acknowledge and confess them, they will enjoy success (Prov.28:13).
David, Paul, Zacchaeus and Mary Magdalene are notable examples that God made humankind prisoners of sin only to show them his mercy (Rom.11:32). Mary Magdalene’s saga in Luke 7:36-50 is a telling tale of unabashed humility, meekness and unrestrained love. Deep in her heart, Mary Magdalene understood there is no condemnation for sinners who voluntarily bring themselves to the feet of Christ. David had previously said the moment he placed his sinful and guilty self at the Lord’s feet; God forgave him and transformed his entire human condition (Ps.32:5-7).
Mary Magdalene’s story must inspire all of us who are victims of sin but still feel intimidated to appear in the presence of the Lord. No! There is no need to be afraid. Christ came not to condemn the world but to save it (Jn.3:17). You and I are included in that lot. The Lord awaits our humble contrite presence. Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation today and you and I can become a new man or a new woman in Christ. I have found nothing more refreshing, fulfilling and liberating as a good and honest confession. The world will condemn you as the Pharisees did with Mary Magdalene. God will redeem you and draw you into deeper communion with him.
O God, we thank you for your great love and mercy.