Saturday, June 15, 2013

Which of Them Will Love Him More?

Not so long ago in my college days, I wanted to be a person who prayed every day, who read their Bible every day, who had a meaningful, fulfilling, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ but I couldn't do it.  I would try, but after a few days it would peter out and I would forget about all my good intentions for a month.  Then I would try again, but never would it last until I went and confessed my sin.  By this I mean my darkest sins.  The ones I kept secret because I didn't want anyone else to know how evil I could be.  I went to confession once or twice a year, but I had never confessed these sins.

Once I confessed my sin all that changed.  Like David, I heard the voice of a prophet in my life tell me that there are some sins in my life which, committed freely, willingly, and knowingly, had shredded my relationship with Jesus.  When I heard that voice, I was given a great gift of fear the Lord.  Not fear of the punishments of hell, but that fear and sorrow one feels when you realize that you have wounded someone you love deeply.  I knew that there was only one way to fix that relationship; like David, I had to confess that I had sinned against the Lord, and I had to apologize.

The Good News is that those who confess more sins, will love more.  Jesus says it plainly, “the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”  In contrast, to the ones who believe in God’s power to forgive and confess the whole debt of their transgressions, much love will be given.  Jesus will take their stony hearts of sin and give them fleshy hearts, full of love.

That’s what St. Paul means by “justification.”  To be justified means to be one of God’s children who are identified by their faith and their love.  When you go to Confession, you enter into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ because you are grafted into His body.  You become one of His Children, and He pours His life into you.  Note what St. Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me.”  When, by the sacrament of Confession, you are re-established in Christ’s body, you will have divine life in you
.  That means that you will have the power to love God in response to His love for you.

I have seen this exchange of sin for love happen in my own life and in many others.  I tell you, God can do the same thing in your life.  Go to confession and make your peace with God.  Go often and be forgiven much.  Then you will see the fruits in your own life.  You will become more merciful.  You won’t be weighed down by your guilt any more, instead, you will be free to love whenever and wherever you want.  Your heart will be filled with a joy that casts away all fear because the transcendent and High King of Heaven surrounded by His choirs of angels has emptied Himself, took the form of a slave, and personally loved you.

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