OUR FATHER’S OPEN ARMS

Saturday, 11th January – Saturday after Epiphany

Reflection: 1 John 5: 14-21

OUR FATHER’S OPEN ARMS

Often times, when the subject of sin is discussed, we all have the tendency to feel uneasy. The reason for this is not farfetched; bearing in mind that none of us as human beings is without sin. The Bible reminds us that if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, the truth is not in us and we make God a liar (1John 1:8-10). My dear friends, the good news is that as Christians, in as much as the reminder of our sinfulness should humble us and make us sorry for our sins, it should not end with sorrow. Instead, every reminder of our sinfulness is in itself a reminder of our Heavenly Father’s great mercy.

Indeed, the very passage that reminds us of our sinfulness also reminds us that our Father is “faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1John 1:9). However, this reminder goes with the condition that we confess our sins. Today’s reading gives us the biblical root of the Church’s teaching on mortal and venial sins as it differentiates deadly sin from non-deadly sin (1 John 5:16-17). While mortal sins separate us from God, venial sins strain our relationship with God but do not bring a total separation from God. While we can pray on our own and receive forgiveness from venial sins, mortal sins require a sacramental confession before forgiveness can be obtained. (1 John 5:16; John 20:22-23).

Dear young friend, what is that sin that burdens your soul? What is it that makes you feel guilty each time you approach God in prayer? What is it that is keeping you away from the Eucharist – the very source of your strength? Please do not succumb to the devil’s accusation. Your Father is waiting with His arms open wide, not seeking to condemn you, but seeking to welcome you back. Please do not flee from God’s mercy. Make a decision today to approach God through His priest in confession and receive the boundless joy of a life made new.

PRAYER: My loving Father, I thank you for the reminder that You have not given up on me. Please forgive me for the many times I have offended You and give me the courage to approach You in confession. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 236 – Why are priests the only ones who can forgive sins?

No man can forgive sins unless he has a commission from God to do so and the power given by him to ensure that the forgiveness he promises the penitent really takes place. The →BISHOP, in the first place, is appointed to do that and, then, his helpers, the ordained →PRIESTS.

HIDE A TREASURE

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9 RSV-CE

Readings for today: 1 John 5: 14-21; Psalm 149: 1-6, 9; John 3: 22-30

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