Study: Recall a time when you had to confront your sinfulness. What were the obstacles you faced?
Pray: Consider adding an Examination of Conscience to your daily prayer.
Serve: How can you extend mercy and forgiveness to others right now?
There are a number of themes that surface in the Scripture readings this week:
- 1st Reading – Adam and Eve before the Lord in their sin; the Lord’s command to the serpent
- Psalm – “With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.”
- 2nd Reading – The spirit of faith sustains us in the challenges of life and guides us to Heaven
- Gospel – Jesus interacts with the scribes, his relatives and the disciples
Sin is real. While we do not live in a world that wants to call attention to the times when we choose something contrary to the will and commandment of God, we know by experience and observation that it happens everyday. What’s more, we often find ourselves hearing a thousand different excuses for the shortcomings and failures of those around us…offering every possible reason why:
- it’s not our fault
- it’s someone else’s fault
- it’s not really a big deal
- everyone else is doing it so I might as well
- it’s not a problem if you are not caught
and so it goes…
Yet what we find in the first reading is a clear acknowledgement of the sin of Adam and Eve through the temptation of the serpent. In their weakness our first parents fell from grace and transmitted original sin into the spiritual DNA of humanity. In our moments of humble insight we understand just how wounded we are and how easy it is to slip into behaviors that lead us away from God and one another.
The Lord, however, does not leave us in this plight alone. Rather, the Psalmist reminds us that the Lord extends mercy upon us, and St. Paul teaches that the spirit of faith empowers us to face the trials of this life with the gift of grace.
The source of this grace is found in Jesus Christ, who claims us as his family through our willingness to do the will of the Heavenly Father. In other words, God sends his Son to give us the help we need to return to Him!
Yes there is sin. But we draw near to the one who overcomes the power of sin and restores what was lost. May we call upon God for the grace we need to acknowledge our sins, accept the Lord’s mercy, and live in the light of Jesus Christ!
Photo Credit: Son of God, 2014.