GOD, WHY SHOULD THE WICKED SINNER WHO REPENTS LIVE? | Friday 1st Week of Lent | Day 9


Sometimes we are so consumed with demands of justice and equity that we fail to see the value of repentance in others. It is not bad to demand justice and just punishments on those who have caused us or others pain, but how much attention do we give to them when they repent. On this  9th day of our Lenten Journey, the Lord wants us to see reasons why we must bear with the sinner who repents, if you wish to know read slowly:

Ezekiel 18:21-25

Thus says the Lord: ‘If the wicked man renounces all the sins he has committed, respects my laws and is law-abiding and honest, he will certainly live; he will not die. All the sins he committed will be forgotten from then on; he shall live because of the integrity he has practised. What! Am I likely to take pleasure in the death of a wicked man – it is the Lord who speaks;– and not prefer to see him renounce his wickedness and live?‘But if the upright man renounces his integrity, commits sin, copies the wicked man and practises every kind of filth, is he to live? All the integrity he has practised shall be forgotten from then on; but this is because he himself has broken faith and committed sin, and for this he shall die...

POINTS FOR REFLECTION

1. Child of God, our God hates or forbids sins but loves the sinner, and for this reason, grants sinners opportunities of repentance- to return to him. He forgives their sins when sinners repent, and by his grace restores their confidence by removing their guilt, however they must bear the consequences for their sins which our Faith in the Catechism describes in articles 1472-1473 as temporal punishments of sins, which are either paid through good acts or suffering here on earth while alive or in purgatory, after death. This is the truth expressed when the Bible says: 'he shall live because of the integrity he has practised.' To practice integrity, one must sacrifice much, one will suffer much because we live in a world that opposes righteousness and integrity.

2. The Lord wants us who think we are upright to be careful lest we fall (1 Cor 10, 12). Little sins as we call it, that we often overlook, can go along way to destroy all what we have laboured over a long period of time. The message of repentance is for all. Be slow to judge and condemn others, because the very things you see and condemn in others today, you may find yourself in it tomorrow and then discover that either your myopic views led you into rash judgement or that the strengths you once boasted and relied on have failed you.

TASK: Today make it a duty to be reconciled with everyone: settle that strife and crisis within you, then go out and reach out to others, especially those whom you have hurt or have hurt you. Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 5: 23-24: if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering. It is only the clean of hands and the pure of heart that can climb the mountain (of worship) of the Lord.

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