by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose, Toronto, Canada
"Well then, since God's grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning." Romans 6:15).
Does the freedom of Grace help you to free from wrongdoings?
Grace never allows us to do the wrong actions, it empowers us to do the right ones. Jesus' mercy must not become an excuse for careless living and moral laxness. The power of sin over us died with Christ on the cross. So we are now free from its power. The confession table should remind us that God's grace and forgiveness should not be utilized to continue the life of a sinner. We seem to be living in a sinful cycle of wrongdoings, confessions, repentance, and so on.
Is this the life that God intended for us? Confession is a private and public declaration to God and we should try not to repeat the same mistakes. There are absolute, non-negotiable and non-justifiable eternal moral codes of the spiritual world just like the gravitation code for the earth to spin, and the instruction book of human genome of life that we need to follow. So, knowingly committing a sin is unpardonable and we may not get the spirit of repentance.
Historian Robert Hughes tells us of a convict sentenced to life on a maximum-security island off Australia. One day with no provocation, he turned on a fellow prisoner he barely knew and beat him to death. At the trial, he gave a straightforward account of the crime showing no signs of guilt or remorse. "Why?" asked the bewildered judge. "What was your motive?" He told that he was sick of life on the island and he saw no reason to keep on living. "Yes, yes I understand all that," said the judge. "I can see why you might drown yourself in the ocean, but why murder?" "Well, it's like this, I'm a catholic. If I commit suicide, I'll go straight to hell. But if I commit a murder, I can come back here and confess to a priest before my execution. That way, God will forgive me," said the prisoner.
Just by confession of one's sins, is it right to keep a murderer, adulterer or common sinner from exploiting God's lavish promise of "forgiveness in advance?"? St Paul says, "By no means." We should not take advantage of ‘confessions', and continue our wrongdoings till we are caught. We would only be dishonoring the grace with this attitude.
Jesus, we live by your grace and forgiveness. Your love never fades. Forgive our mistakes and follies. Let us enjoy the freedom of love and its fruits. Show light to those living in darkness. We ask this in the name of Jesus.
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