Freedom From Sin

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Readings for Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Saint Vincent Ferrer, Priest – Optional Memorial

heinrich-hofmann-public-domain-via-wikimedia-commons

Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.  A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains.  So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free.”  John 8:34-36

Jesus wants to set you free, but do you want to be set free?  On an intellectual level this should be an easy question to answer.  Of course you want your freedom!  Who wouldn’t?  But on a practical level this question is harder to answer.  Practically speaking, many people are very comfortable living in sin.  Sin offers a deceptive satisfaction that can be hard to turn away from.  Sin can make you “feel” good in the moment, even though the long-term effects are that it strips your freedom and joy.  But so often that momentary “satisfaction” is enough for many people to keep coming back.

So what about you?  Do you want to be free so as to live as a son or daughter of the Most High God?  If you answer “Yes” then be prepared for this to be painful, but in a delightful way.  Overcoming sin requires purification.  The process of “letting go” of sin requires true sacrifice and commitment.  It requires you to turn to the Lord in absolute trust and abandon.  In doing so you experience a sort of death to yourself, to your passions and to your own selfish will.  This hurts, at least on the level of your fallen human nature.  But it’s like a surgery that has the goal of removing cancer or some infection.  The surgery itself may hurt, but it’s the only way to be freed of the malady you have.  The Son is the Divine Surgeon and the way He sets you free is through His own suffering and death.  Jesus’ Crucifixion and death brought life into the world.  His death destroyed the disease of sin, and our willing acceptance of the remedy of His death means we must let Him destroy the disease of sin within us through His death.  It must be “cut out” so to speak and removed by our Lord. 

Lent is a time, more than any, in which you must honestly focus on your sin for the reason of identifying those things that keep you bound, so that you can invite the Divine Physician to enter your wounds and heal you.  Do not let Lent go by without honestly examining your conscience thoroughly, and repenting of your sins with all your heart.  The Lord wants you to be free!  Desire it yourself and enter the process of purification so that you will be relieved of your heavy burdens.

Reflect, today, upon your attitude toward your own personal sins.  First, can you humbly admit to your sin?  Don’t rationalize them away or blame another.  Face them and accept them as your own.  Second, confess your sins.  Reflect upon your attitude toward the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  This is the Sacrament of freedom.  It is so very easy.  Just go in, admit all your sins, express sorrow and be set free.  If you find this difficult then you are trusting your own feelings of fear rather than the truth.  Third, rejoice in the freedom that the Son of God offers you.  It’s a gift beyond anything we deserve.  Reflect on these three things today and for the rest of Lent, and your Easter will be one of true thanksgiving!

Lord, I do desire to be set free from all sin so that I may live in the freedom of being Your child.  Help me, dear Lord, to face my sin with honesty and openness.  Give me the courage I need to admit my sin in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, so that I may rejoice in all that You have bestowed upon me through Your suffering and death.  Jesus, I trust in You.

40 Days at the Foot of the Cross

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