5TH Sunday of Lent 2009: A Reflection
By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas
Feb. 22, 2009
Feb. 22, 2009
We are over the half way mark for Lent 2009. We must ask ourselves, where do I stand in the eyes of God? Have I lived up to the intent of my Baptismal promises? Have I as your Deacon lived up to my Ordination Commitment to be a worthy witness for Christ and His Church? Sometimes I feel totally inadequate, especially as I try to impart Truth and Doctrine to our young people. Now I'm complaining a little, how does one get through to the young when they are not brought to church, to Mass on the weekend, yet are sent to religion class? Maybe I'm putting to much of a load on myself in this regard, for you know as well as I that children learn most and fastest from their parents. And what do children learn by far the fastest, it is disobedience, it is sin. We as the people of God do not need help to sin but we sure need all the help we can get to be Holy.
Disobedience is the root of all sin. Lucifer said to God before the world was formed, "I will not serve." That sin came to us when our first parents preferred to follow the advice of the tempter and ate from the tree that they were forbidden to eat. That "original sin " has been transmitted to every one born ever since. The only exception being the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Simply put: sin is a choice of something other then God. That was the choice made by Adam and Eve. That is what is done by every person who commits a sin. Sin always has the appearance of good. Of course if that were not so one would not commit sin.
We may ask ourselves the question, "What is the worst thing that could ever happen to us? " That we should lose our sight? That we become paralyzed? That we should lose someone we love? What of all the evil things that might happen to us which is by far the worst? The answer is that the worst thing that could ever happen to us that we disrupt our relationship with God. That we commit a mortal sin. That we become separated from God through sin and lose Him for all Eternity. There is nothing more evil than this – to miss our final goal. Not to live the life of our Creator for whom we were made.
We must eliminate sin in our lives because it keeps us from God, our final goal. Salvation is a struggle, a struggle made easy if we place ourselves in God's presence and follow Jesus through the teachings of His Church. One of the great saints once said that very simply the purpose of our lives should be to do good, and to avoid evil. Or, we should do all that the love of God requires, that we become Holy.
Every Catholic, young and old should know the basics of their religion. Every Catholic should know the difference between mortal and venial sins. Mortal sin is the deliberate choosing of something gravely contrary to God's law. It destroys the love of God in our hearts. Venial sin is choosing something contrary to God's law, a moral disorder that can be repaired by charity.
We believe that we are made in the image and likeness of God and are disfigured by sin. God wants us reconciled to Himself. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says: "To reunite all His children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into His Son's Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is the world reconciled. She is the bark which "in then full sail of the Lord's cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world… According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah's ark, which alone saves from the flood ". That's from 845 in the Catechism and is worth rereading.
We must strive to eliminate sin from our lives because sin will keep us from God. Can there be a greater reason then that?
We are called to Love, true Love covers a multitude of sin as St. Augustan reminds us. A couple weeks ago I reminded my 7th graders that I Love them as this is commanded by God, and I remind you as well that I love you! I concluded by saying, if it could be that there is horror in Heaven it would be that I wait for you there and you do not show up. Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.
A quick 'thank you' to Deacon Kaas, for letting me post his reflection here.