Dear Friends in Jesus Christ…,
This Sunday we are asked reflect on the subject we don’t like to speak about now a days. Can you guess what is it? Yes, it is “sin”. Do we sin anymore? The confession lines have shrunken to nothing. Psychiatrist Karl Menninger stated that although sin was once a strong word, which described an ominous aspect of every human being’s life, life-plan and life-style, the word, along with the notion of sin has all but disappeared. The reality of sin, however, has not disappeared; it has simply been renamed. Sin may masquerade under several aliases, but it remains, nonetheless, what it is. For example, the sins of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, the sins of Vietnam, Bosnia and Rwanda have been hidden behind an acclaimed patriotism or other ideologies. Soldiers, who have systematically gang-raped and slaughtered helpless women have claimed justification for their actions due to the exigencies of war and their “moral obligation” to obey their superiors. Other heinous sins have been dismissed by excusing their perpetrators on ground of temporary insanity, or a troubled youth, or emotional instability. Some sins have been paraded under the guise of freedom of choice, ignorance, and aggressive or self-destructive behavior. Menninger suggested that one of the reasons that sin is not recognized and named for what it is may be due to the fact that the major responsibility for identifying and dealing with misbehavior has been taken over by the State. Much of what is really sin is now called crime, and actions which are blatantly immoral, are now labeled illegal. Murder, robbery, treason, adultery and lying have become defined as criminal acts with prescribed punishments. Because of this shift in responsibility, the consequences of sin have become depersonalized and the reality of sin as a breach in the relationship with God and with others has been overlooked. The readings for today’s liturgy invite the gathered assembly to take a hard look at sin, to call it by name and to take back our responsibility for it. Similarly, we are challenged to look evil in the eye and, without blinking, own it for the reality that it is. In describing Adam and Eve’s first sin, disobedience, our first reading, taken from Genesis, explains the beginning of evil in the world with its destructive results. The loving relationship joining man to God is destroyed, and the relationship of mutual love between Adam and Eve is weakened. Their default to a “blame game” allowed each to avoid taking personal responsibility for their joint choice.
Today’s Scriptures challenge us to face rejection with prophetic courage and optimism. Very often our friends, families, or childhood companions fail to listen to us and refuse to accept the words of grace, love and encouragement that we offer to them because they are too familiar with us. Hence, they are unable to see us as God’s appointed instruments, the agents of God’s healing and saving grace. But we have to face such rejection with prophetic courage because by our Baptism we are called to be prophets like Jesus, sharing his prophetic mission. As prophets, our task is to speak the truth and oppose the evils in our society without condoning or encouraging sinful behavior even in our dear ones. Let us also acknowledge, appreciate and encourage the prophets of our time who stand for truth and justice in our society with the wisdom of God in their heads, the power of the Holy Spirit in their words and the courage of God in their actions. Jesus teaches that we cannot be influenced by the evil spirit if we listen to him and follow him. Hence, we have to keep our souls daily cleansed and filled with the Spirit of God, leaving no space for the evil spirit to enter our souls.
God Bless You,