So there we have it!!
Challenging, yet so consoling
Paragraph 1440 says, “Sin is before all else an offense against God, a rupture of communion with him. At the same time it damages communion with the Church.”
It’s not no one
Someone got hurt
Some people say things like, “Well, no one was hurt.”
How can that be wrong?
If it didn’t affect you, why does it matter?
Something isn’t wrong because someone got hurt
A thing is a sin not because someone was damaged
It’s a sin above all else because it was prohibited by God or commanded by God
And we didn’t do it
It’s a relationship
Sin is saying to God, “God, I know what you want. I don’t care. I want what I want. I’m going to do what I want to do.”
It’s not an accident
It’s not a mistake
It’s choosing MY will over the WILL OF GOD
I’m going to choose ME over GOD
So it’s a rupture of communion with God
ME NOT YOU
Here’s a story about C.S. Lewis so let’s listen
Basically, it’s either us saying to the Father, “Thy will be done.”
It is God saying, “You got what you have chosen, your will.”
It’s not only an offense against God
It also damages communion with the Church
If we could wrap our minds around this reality, so much would change
Our approach to the Church would change
Our approach to Reconciliation would change
When we were baptized, we were brought not only into this incredible relationship with God the Father
We were made into God’s adoptive sons and daughters
We are temples of the Holy Spirit
We partake of the divine nature
All of these transformations
We are also brought into the family of God, the Body of Christ
We are made members of the Church, which is truly a family and is truly a body
Therefore, when we sin, particularly in a mortal way, we cause a rupture in our relationship with God and we are also causing a rupture in our communion with the Church
Both are incredibly serious
Both require forgiveness
Both require reconciliation
There is a grace in knowing the depths of our sin and how we have separated ourselves from God, the source of all our lives
There is a grace of knowing that and letting it pierce our hearts
There is a grace of knowing that we do not belong to ourselves
Not only do we belong to God Himself, we are members of His family, a part of His Body, a part of His Church
When we say no to the Father, we say no to the Church
We are creating division with us and God and us and the Church
Therefore we need reconciliation with the Church and reconciliation with the Lord
ONLY GOD FORGIVES SINS
Jesus has extended His power to forgive to human beings
He has given His Apostles and their successors the power to exercise this ministry of forgiveness and reconciliation
WHICH IS REMARKABLE!!
Remember, forgiveness is releasing someone from their debt
Not that we are going to completely trust again or that all is good in the sense of the relationship has been restored
In the sense that we are not going to wait to be paid back
We are owed nothing and justice demands that it is paid back
Since the debt is unable to be paid back, we release them from their debt
We are not going to wait around to be paid back
That is forgiveness
There is another step…
Our relationship has been RESTORED
Our relationship has been made NEW in an incredible way
Let’s listen to Fr. Mike’s example…
There is such a thing as forgiveness without reconciliation
We are not called to reconcile with everyone where we bring them back into our trust
God and the Church bring us back into reconciliation
God brings us back into relationship with Him
When God forgives us, He also restores us in our place in His Body
He restores us in our place in His family
He does this through the ministry of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance
WHICH IS REMARKABLE!!
Why can we even claim this?
Matthew Ch 16, Jesus makes it very clear and hands over to Simon Peter this office
“I give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
He also gives that to the other Apostles with Peter at its head
That ability was given to the other apostles too as well as their successors
What does that mean?
Paragraph 1445 says, “The words bind and loose mean: whomever you exclude from your communion, will be excluded from communion with God; whomever you receive anew into your communion, God will welcome back into his.”
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT FOR US!!
God has not only extended the ability and power that He alone can do
God alone can forgive sins
He gives this ministry of forgiveness and reconciliation to the apostles and their successors, the bishops and priests
God gives them this authority
“Whomever you exclude from your communion, will be excluded from communion with God. And whomever you receive anew into your communion, God will welcome back into His.”
There is something so powerful about the authority that Jesus Christ has given to His Church
It’s a scary authority
The more authority one has, the more responsibility to use that well a person has been given
Paragraph 1445 says, “Reconciliation with the Church is inseparable from reconciliation with God.”
You were brought into the Church at your Baptism
You were brought into right relationship with God at your Baptism
Therefore, to be brought into right relationship with God again, after sin, would also entail being brought into right relationship with the Church
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT FOR US TO UNDERSTAND AND INTERIORIZE!!
It is easy to say, “I sinned against God, so I’m going to go to God.”
It is more difficult to say, “I have sinned against God and against the Body of Christ on earth and against His Church on earth. Therefore, I will go to God and I will also go to His Church.”
THIS IS HOW JESUS ESTABLISHED THIS!!
Tomorrow we will talk more about how we actually do this
How does this get exercised?
How do we take those steps?
When God gives us His forgiveness, He gives us forgiveness through His Church
He gives us forgiveness in order to reconcile us not only to Him and His heart, but also to His Body, the Church on earth
Hope that makes sense!!
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!