Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
Sin brought death to me.
(Oct 7-12, 2019)
General Theme: Breaking of Love: Sin and its Consequences
To discover that sin is a breakdown of love of self, of others and ultimately a ‘no’ to God’s Life and Love, to the one who loves us most in life, and has given all to us. Sin has serious consequences in us, in others and in the Body of Christ. That seeing Christ crucified may provoke our conversion to Love, a change of heart.
Objective for the Week:
To be able to realize the effects and consequences of sin in oneself.
Our mission begins with ourselves before others, as Pope Francis said “I am a mission always, you are a mission always". Conversion is in encountering God in whatever state we are living now. At times we can easily point out to others their sinfulness and overlook ourselves. But sin has serious effects and consequences to our life. How are we examining our conscience? Most people are afraid to go within and face the unwanted side of their self. This fear makes us live in a constant inner struggle until we begin to trust and surrender to God.
Sin takes away the life and love of God within us making us lose sight of the truth and value of our life to God. Sin in whatever form or means leads to death by living apart from the true source of life and love-God. At some point it can hold on to one's life that almost everything he/she does are centered on it - always hiding and evading the law. But Christ offers us a life lived out in truth and love, to be truly free of our sinfulness. Only through humility that we allow ourselves to receive God's mercy and forgiveness.
It is our mission as disciples to guard the life and love of God in us and in each one. This then must begin in ourselves.
Feast of Our Lady of Rosary
Sin causes a tasteless life
Mk 9:50 “Salt is good; but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again?
Sin makes us lose taste of God's goodness at work. Life in the state of sin separates us from the true taste of life - love, comfort and peace. In sin, we are enslaved to living without satisfaction from what we have received from God.
In what moments in my life have I lost the taste of love, joy and sensitivity to God's goodness?
Sin leads to confusion
For when we lived according to our human nature, the sinful desires stirred up by the Law were at work in our bodies, and all we did ended in death. Now, however, we are free from the Law, because we died to that which once held us prisoners. No longer do we serve in the old way of a written law, but in the new way of the Spirit.Shall we say, then, that the Law itself is sinful? Of course not! But it was the Law that made me know what sin is. If the Law had not said, “Do not desire what belongs to someone else,” I would not have known such a desire. But by means of that commandment sin found its chance to stir up all kinds of selfish desires in me. Apart from law, sin is a dead thing. I myself was once alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life, and I died. And the commandment which was meant to bring life, in my case brought death. Sin found its chance, and by means of the commandment it deceived me and killed me. So then, the Law itself is holy, and the commandment is holy, right, and good. But does this mean that what is good caused my death? By no means! It was sin that did it; by using what is good, sin brought death to me, in order that its true nature as sin might be revealed. And so, by means of the commandment sin is shown to be even more terribly sinful.
Sin works even in the good things just to lead us to corruption. When we are content of living out a little of what we believe in our faith and morals, we can easily be deceived by what we think is right or wrong. This calls us as disciples to come closer in relationship with God through prayer, that we may lay bare and discern every desire in our heart and allow him to give light in our doubts and confusions.
From whom do I seek counsel?
Amidst the conflicting desire in my heart, how am I living out my faith and identity as a child of God?
Rom 7: 14-25 We know that the Law is spiritual; but I am a mortal, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do; for I don't do what I would like to do, but instead I do what I hate. Since what I do is what I don't want to do, this shows that I agree that the Law is right. So I am not really the one who does this thing; rather it is the sin that lives in me. I know that good does not live in me—that is, in my human nature. For even though the desire to do good is in me, I am not able to do it. I don't do the good I want to do; instead, I do the evil that I do not want to do. If I do what I don't want to do, this means that I am no longer the one who does it; instead, it is the sin that lives in me. So I find that this law is at work: when I want to do what is good, what is evil is the only choice I have. My inner being delights in the law of God. But I see a different law at work in my body—a law that fights against the law which my mind approves of. It makes me a prisoner to the law of sin which is at work in my body. What an unhappy man I am! …
Worldly temptations stir our hearts away from God. When we fall into sin, it creates confusion of who we are- our identity as a child of God. Sometimes our own desires contradict what we are all supposed to do - to live according to God's law, and only when we are able to trust and surrender to God's will that we free ourselves of our inner struggles.
What inner struggles am I facing right now? In every temptation, doubt or confusion, am I able to trust and surrender to God's will for me? Or do I allow myself to fall into my weaknesses and sins?
Tolerance to sin breeds sin
Rom 1:24-32 And so God has given those people over to do the filthy things their hearts desire, and they do shameful things with each other. They exchange the truth about God for a lie; they worship and serve what God has created instead of the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever! Amen. Because they do this, God has given them over to shameful passions. Even the women pervert the natural use of their sex by unnatural acts. In the same way the men give up natural sexual relations with women and burn with passion for each other. Men do shameful things with each other, and as a result they bring upon themselves the punishment they deserve for their wrongdoing. Because those people refuse to keep in mind the true knowledge about God, he has given them over to corrupted minds, so that they do the things that they should not do. They are filled with all kinds of wickedness, evil, greed, and vice; they are full of jealousy, murder, fighting, deceit, and malice. They gossip and speak evil of one another; they are hateful to God, insolent, proud, and boastful; they think of more ways to do evil; they disobey their parents; they have no conscience; they do not keep their promises, and they show no kindness or pity for others. They know that God's law says that people who live in this way deserve death. Yet, not only do they continue to do these very things, but they even approve of others who do them.
In our society today, many people perceive sin as being normal - as part of our humanity. Knowing what is wrong but doing it anyway has become the norm. Sin can root in an individual, and when we're unaware, it’s easy to set aside conscience for personal desires and instant gratification. When we choose to live our life apart from God we allow ourselves to be carried away by our worldly desires.
What worldly desires are still taking hold of me? How is it affecting my relationship to God and towards others?
Sin breaks foundations
Matthew 7:21-27 “Not everyone who calls me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only those who do what my Father in heaven wants them to do. When the Judgment Day comes, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord! In your name we spoke God's message, by your name we drove out many demons and performed many miracles!’ Then I will say to them, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you wicked people!’
“So then, anyone who hears these words of mine and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain poured down, the rivers flooded over, and the wind blew hard against that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock.“But anyone who hears these words of mine and does not obey them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain poured down, the rivers flooded over, the wind blew hard against that house, and it fell. And what a terrible fall that was!”
Sin when neglected creates loopholes in our conscience and in the way we live our life in faith in God. Only in God, firmly rooted in his love that we can find the strength we need in every temptation and challenges that we face in the mission.
Where do we anchor our life? How can I keep myself connected to God?
Sin blinds and paralyzes
Matthew 9:1-7 Jesus got into the boat and went back across the lake to his own town, where some people brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a bed. When Jesus saw how much faith they had, he said to the paralyzed man, “Courage, my son! Your sins are forgiven.” Then some teachers of the Law said to themselves, “This man is speaking blasphemy!”
Jesus perceived what they were thinking, and so he said, “Why are you thinking such evil things? Is it easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? I will prove to you, then, that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, pick up your bed, and go home!” The man got up and went home. When the people saw it, they were afraid, and praised God for giving such authority to people.
Sin takes away the life and love of God in us, leading us to lose sight of Jesus. Without seeing the love of God, we are unable to take care of His life and love in us. By faith, we allow God to touch us and see the world in a new light.
Do I view life in the light of my faith? How do I strengthen my faith to overcome sin?
28TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
1st Rdg: 2 Kgs 5:14-17
Resp. Psalm: Ps. 98:1-4
2nd Reading: 2 Tim 2:8-13
Gospel: Lk 17:11-19