Thursday, February 24, 2011

2/24/11 - Delay Not Your Conversion

From today's first reading (Sirach 5:1-8)

Of forgiveness be not overconfident,
adding sin upon sin.
Say not: “Great is his mercy;
my many sins he will forgive.”
For mercy and anger alike are with him;
upon the wicked alights his wrath.
Delay not your conversion to the LORD,
put it not off from day to day.
For suddenly his wrath flames forth;
at the time of vengeance you will be destroyed.
Rely not upon deceitful wrath,
for it will be no help on the day of wrath.

From today's gospel (Mark 9:42-48)

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,
it would be better for him if a great millstone
were put around his neck
and he were thrown into the sea.

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
It is better for you to enter into life maimed
than with two hands to go into Gehenna,
into the unquenchable fire.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.
It is better for you to enter into life crippled
than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
Better for you to enter into the Kingdom of God with one eye
than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,
where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.
This is a great message to consider as we march toward Lent.

God's mercy is beyond our comprehension.  But presuming his mercy is a dangerous game indeed.  This passage warns us about two things -- leading other people into sin, and continuing a life of sin ourselves.

Time after time in the gospels, Jesus concludes a meeting with an individual with "Go and sin no more."  He didn't say that just for the fun of it.  We haven't been redeemed so that we can just continue in our old ways, confident that no matter what we do God will forgive us because we "believe."  We have been redeemed so that we can change.  So that we can conform to God's will.  So that we begin glorifying Him by doing the work He has planned for us.  So that we can "go and sin no more."

Presuming that we CAN'T do that ultimately sells Christ short.  It is true that we can't avoid sin on our own.  But Christ can, and He shares His Divinity with us.  Delay not your conversion.  With Him, all is possible! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave a Comment!