Friday, December 28, 2012

“We do not really know how to forgive until we know what it is to be forgiven. “

Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again; for forgiveness has risen from the grave - St. John Chrysostom

(Scripture Text: 1 John 1:5—2:2)
This is the message that we have heard from Jesus Christ
and proclaim to you:
God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.
If we say, "We have fellowship with him,"
while we continue to walk in darkness,
we lie and do not act in truth.
But if we walk in the light as he is in the light,
then we have fellowship with one another,
and the Blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin.
If we say, "We are without sin,"
we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just
and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.
If we say, "We have not sinned," we make him a liar,
and his word is not in us.

My children, I am writing this to you
so that you may not commit sin.
But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous one.
He is expiation for our sins,
and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.

Although many people don't want to talk about sin, especially around Christmas time, we all believe in sin. We believe that Herod, Hitler, Stalin, and other villains in history chose to do things which are objectively wrong.

However, we would like to think that sin is rare, since many people maintain that most acts are not matters of objective right or wrong but only matters of subjective values. Nevertheless, sin is not rare, but universal. Everyone is a sinner, and many people sin frequently (see Rm 3:23).

Moreover, we would like to relegate sin to other people, especially to people like Herod. Our society likes to tell itself that it would never kill babies as Herod did (see Mt 2:16), yet since abortion has been legalized in 1973 over 50 million children have been killed in the womb in the United States.

If we are honest with ourselves, we can not help but conclude that not only is it true that there is sin, and sin is universal and frequently committed, but also that each one of us is a sinner.

There would have been no need for the Incarnation and Christmas except to free us from sin.

This Christmas, receive one of the greatest Christmas presents. 

Receive the forgiveness of your sins. – Go to Confession with a Catholic Priest.

Are you open to surprises, sacrifices, corrections, or challenges? Are there things you refuse to hear, defenses you won't let down, sacrifices you won't make, and sin you won't admit?

The first question is not: "What am I hearing?" but "What am I willing to hear?" 

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