Monday 8th December – Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Reflection: Genesis 3: 9-15, 20
It is an indisputable fact that we all falter in one way or the other as we journey through life. This is a fall-out of the original sin in the Garden of Eden. The original sin not only strained the relationship between man and God, it brought with it many unpleasant consequences, one of which clearly stands out in today’s first reading; namely, man’s tendency to shift blame. Rather than own up to their individual faults and seek God’s forgiveness, Adam and Eve both chose to pass the buck.
Dear friend, how is that different from the way you and I react to our sins and mistakes today? Are we not more often than not quick to blame others and situations for our faults? Beloved, this obviously is a subtle inclination to irresponsibility which would ultimately rob us of the sincerity of heart needed for a genuine appraisal of our shortcomings and the needed impetus to get better in life. Moreover, our loving God is always prepared to forgive our wrongdoings when we sincerely own up and seek His mercy (2 Chronicles 7:14). By extension, as Christians, in our relationships we owe our neighbours a sincere acknowledgement of our shortcomings when we are at fault rather than allow ourselves to be trapped in the hypocritical and undignifying act of self defence and trading blames. This will only mar our relationships and compromise our call as light of the world (Matthew 5:14, 16).
To sincerely and responsibly own up to our faults, we need the grace of God. It is only the Holy Spirit that convicts us of our wrongdoings and helps us to make the necessary amendments. Let us cooperate with Him to make us better Christians and jettison all inclinations to self-righteousness and vain glory.
PRAYER: Dear Father, please give me a pure and humble heart; one that is perpetually accountable to you and open to correction. Amen.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 232 – What must I bring to a confession?
Essential elements of every confession are an examination of conscience, contrition, a purpose of amendment, confession, and penance.
…No one can be absolved from his sin without real contrition, merely on the basis of “lip-service”. Equally indispensable is the purpose of amendment, the resolution not to commit that sin again in the future…
HIDE A TREASURE: “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” Proverbs 28: 13 RSV-CE
Readings for Today: Genesis 3: 9-15, 20; Psalm 98: 1-4; Ephesians 1: 3-6, 11-12; Luke 1: 26-38