Reading 1 Micah 7:14-15, 18-20
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12
Gospel, Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
I was reading a book the other day and was struck by the gravity of our inauthentic existence. The concept of sin in the bible is this sense of being a stranger to God and to our true being and existence. Somehow, our purpose of being and destiny is tied to being in an intimate relationship with God/others/self. When this harmony is disrupted by our “strangeness” of being, we become less human and loving.
The book reminded me of another layer that is affected: the victims of our wrong living [if there is a notion that the words “wrong living” might seem too sharp or too black/white, I’m aware that sometimes it just fits the bill]. We are not isolated individuals. Our actions and attitudes affect those around us. We are made to do life together. So it goes that we impact each other.
Recently, I was wrestling with my own inauthentic existence and wondered how it has victimized those close to me. When I saw threads of how my “wrong living” has hurt my wife, my boys, and the people I serve, it broke my heart. I realized that when I’m making personal moral (or immoral) decisions, others will either benefit or become victims of my shortcomings. As we bring judgment on ourselves through our own wrongdoings, we must confess that we were given mandates to live truthfully and authentically in Christ. We know better.
In todays readings, God is depicted as the one who pardons sin and forgives our wrong living ways. It uses words like: delights to show mercy, compassion, dumps our wrongs in the deep ocean, faithful, redeems, heals, shows his love!
As you and I are made aware of how our wrong living victimizing those we love, lets remember that God is also faithful to make the wrongs RIGHT! My wrong living doesn’t have the final say in my life.
A healthy response to the Word today is to lament (grieve/mourn) how our wrong living has affected our self and those around us. Don’t move too quickly to try and “feel better”. Allow the Holy Spirit to heal the dis-ease in our hearts as grieve our actions and attitudes. Let the Holy Spirit make the wrongs right in your life. Pray for wholeness and confess your brokenness. Like the Prodigal son, you too will be embraced and welcomed.