“My child, your sins are forgiven’ – Mark 2:5
“Chuks, what is sin?”Chuks responds after nervously clearing his throat, “Sin is an offence in thoughts, words and action against the law of God.”
The smile which spread across Sister Catherine’s face told him that he was correct.‘Congratulations, go and get ready for first communion.’
Chuks remembers that day as one of his happiest ever. Second only to his ordination to the priesthood. The AC in the parish office hissing back to life was all it took for him to drift back to the present. He smiled to himself, picked up his favourite pen and wrote down the following in his dairy:‘It is interesting how a series of seemingly unconnected events can lead you to something so profound. A reverend sister’s teaching about sin as “an offence against God”, my parents punishment of wrong and reward for good actions brought me to the mature understanding of God as a relational being. His relationship with us is one of holiness, justice and mercy. Just like my parents, He celebrates our good actions but punishes our wrongdoings. Besides, what I consider God’s punishment of sin is only my way of saying that my sin punishes me. When I offend against charity, my heart aches. When I offend against purity, I am restless. When I offend in speech or bad example, someone suffers the scandal of my wrongful action. It is really I who suffer. Since I know that wrongdoing offends against everything good, true and beautiful, I must accept the consequence of my action and take steps to be reconciled to God as to a lover or a long lost friend. It, therefore, is incomprehensible to me that the Jews would tell Samuel to give them a king in place of God’s divine rule. God watches us by his presence and power. To reject his power is to deny his presence. And to deny His presence is to enthrone the reign of evil. We have become gods unto ourselves. Where has this left us? It has left us paralysed and at the point of death. We drink sin like water but it doesn’t satisfy. Every like on our status update seems to fall into an endless abyss of dissatisfaction. Only by acknowledging our need to be forgiven our sins do we start off on the part to freedom. Only God can forgive sins (Mk 2:7). And since Christ is God, it is to him that we turn. And since he has given this power to his priest, we march to the confessional where Jesus waits in his minister to tell us “I absolve you…” Only these words can set a soul free.'
PrayerLord, I am sorry that I have continued to sin against you, in thoughts, words, deeds and omission, through my fault. Cleanse me of sin and claim me once more as your own.
Today’s Readings1Sam 8:4-7,10-22; Ps 89:16-19; Mk 2:1-12
Photo source *Lifeteen.com