So there we have it!!
The Church begins ARTICLE 8: SIN by talking about MERCY
Paragraph 1846 says, “The Gospel is the revelation in Jesus Christ of God’s mercy to sinners.”
What is the Good News?
The Good News is the Revelation in Jesus Christ of God’s mercy to sinners
What is required for the Good News to be good?
It’s not just news
It’s not bad news
Let’s listen to Fr. Mike’s heart transplant anecdote…
The Good News of God’s mercy to sinners is NOT good news UNLESS we realize that WE ARE SINNERS
In our culture, we have forgotten the REALITY of Original Sin
Every single one of us is born into a broken relationship with God, with other people, and with ourselves
The Gospel of God’s merciful love to us sinners is lost on us because we are not that desperate heart patient
We are people who think we are fine
We don’t think we have this need for mercy
We don’t feel this need for forgiveness
We don’t feel this need for God
Because we think we are fine
If we pay attention to the REALITY OF OUR LIVES that every single one of us is born into this world with a broken relationship with God, other people, and ourselves
We continue to break our relationship with God, with other people, and with ourselves
THEN we realize that we need this Good News
We need this Good News to be ABSOLUTELY TRUE
Paragraph 1846 continues, “The angel announced to Joseph: ‘You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ The same is true of the Eucharist, the sacrament of redemption: ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’”
We love the Eucharist because this is TRULY Jesus Christ’s body, blood, soul, and divinity at Mass
The Eucharist is the sacrament of REDEMPTION
If we are going to receive God’s mercy, we have to admit our faults
If we are going to receive God’s mercy, we have to admit the fact that we need mercy
If this gift is perceived as a burden, then the joy and gratitude of the amazing Good News of God’s mercy is LOST
When we realize that we are dead in the water…
When we realize that we are NOT GOOD ENOUGH…
When we realize that God is good…
When we realize that Jesus Christ’s sacrifice is enough…
Then we have to realize that we have to admit our faults and realize that we need Him
Paragraph 1847 says, “‘God created us without us: but he did not will to save us without us.’ To receive his mercy, we must admit our faults. ‘If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’”
God created us without our permission
God will NOT save us WITHOUT our permission
This is why we need to admit our sins and acknowledge our need for God
We were lost and have been found
That is why Amazing Grace saved a wretch like me
Paragraph 1849 says, “Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as ‘an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.’”
When we have chosen sin, we have traded the ultimate thing, which is God Himself, or a penultimate thing like love of neighbor, for a non-ultimate thing
Let’s listen to Fr. Mike recap the story of Jacob and Esau and the red stuff…
Here’s Fr. Mike’s definition of sin: “God, I know what you want. I don’t care. I want to do what I want to do.”
Every time we lie, we are trading in the truth, that is connected to God himself, for the convenience of the lie of getting out of the truth
Every time we give in to the sin of gossip, we are trading taking care of our neighbor for the momentary pleasure of having information that gets people interested in us
Every time we sin, there is an ATTACHMENT
A PERVERSE ATTACHMENT TO CERTAIN GOODS
A perverse attachment does not order them rightly in the sense that God ALWAYS needs to be the ultimate
ULTIMATE is love of God
PENULTIMATE is love of neighbor
True love is willing the good of the other
We can sometimes have this perverse attachment to certain goods that causes us to choose ourselves over God and others
When we sin, we become less human
It wounds our very nature
We are made for goodness, truth, life, joy, and beauty
Every time we sin it wounds all those things
Every time we sin it wounds human solidarity
You can be someone who shares gossip or someone who is confided in with gossip
At the same time, you realize that this person will talk about you behind your back as well
So it wounds and injures human solidarity
It is not just in our actions
It is also in our words
It is also in our desires that we feed
Paragraph 1850 says, “Sin is an offense against God: ‘Against you, you alone, have I sinned and done that which is evil in your sight.’ Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become ‘like gods,’ knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus ‘love of oneself even to contempt of God.’ In this proud self-exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation.”
When we were kids we may have thought, “How can that be a sin? No one got hurt.”
And we realize that every sin is not about did someone get hurt
The measure of sin is did I violate God’s law?
Did I work against what God has revealed to me that He wants me to do?
“God, I know what you want. I don’t care. I want what I want.”
In other words, CONTEMPT OF GOD
What did Jesus do?
In ALL THINGS Jesus was OBEDIENT
He was obedient to His mother and father on earth
He was also obedient to His Father in Heaven
Paragraph 1851 says, “It is precisely in the Passion, when the mercy of Christ is about to vanquish it, that sin most clearly manifests its violence and its many forms: unbelief, murderous hatred, shunning and mockery by the leaders and the people, Pilate’s cowardice and the cruelty of the soldiers, Judas’ betrayal-so bitter to Jesus, Peter’s denial and the disciples’ flight. However, at the very hour of darkness, the hour of the prince of this world, the sacrifice of Christ secretly becomes the source from which the forgiveness of our sins will pour forth inexhaustibly.”
How does Jesus vanquish sin?
THROUGH OBEDIENCE TO HIS FATHER!!
IT IS REMARKABLE!!
This list of all the ways sin can manifest itself can be a mirror for us, like an examination of conscience
Shunning and mockery by the leaders and the people
Pilate’s cowardice and the cruelty of the soldiers
Peter’s denial and
The disciples’ flight
These are all things we know happened at the Passion
This list can help us
“Lord, where is there unbelief in my heart?”
“Lord, where is the murderous hatred in my heart?”
“Lord, where is there shunning or mockery or cowardice in my heart?”
Paragraph 1852 says, “There are a great many kinds of sins. Scripture provides several lists of them. The Letter to the Galatians contrasts the works of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit: ‘Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.’”
Do you consider all of these to be sins?
Do you consider that if you engage in them, you are omitting yourself from God’s Kingdom?
Or here’s Jesus’ list, “From out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander.”
Do you believe these are sins?
We talked about the difference between simply agreeing and actually having faith
If we ask for examples, then we can simply agree or not
If we have faith, we know that Scripture highlights these as violations of God’s law and what God wants
I have faith
I trust in God
We have to trust that we have to do everything in our power and live by the Spirit so that we can avoid these sins and avoid hell and avoid eternal death
Ok we may need to ask what licentiousness is
But we need to move from “Prove it to me so I can agree” to the place of “Explain it to me, and I trust you.”
Does that make sense?
Some of these sins are in thought
Some of these sins are in word
Some of these sins are in deed
Some of these sins are in omission
The root of sin is in our free will and in our hearts
We need the Lord in our hearts because from our hearts come these wounds and these sins
Paragraph 1853 says, “But in the heart also resides charity, the source of the good and pure works, which sin wounds.”
Your heart is good, just broken
From your heart comes all these sins
From your heart also comes love
That is why we are focusing not just on sin but on sin AND mercy
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I’ll see you when I see you!!