Sunday, 17 March 2013

Adultery


Once upon a time there was a priest who got fed up with the number of parishioners who confessed that they committed adultery. Every week, in the confessional, it was the same thing - adultery.

One Sunday he said in his sermon that he was angry about this continuous sin of adultery amongst his congregation. He promised that if he heard this sin one more time he'd give up the priesthood and leave town for ever.

His congregation loved him and did not want to lose him. They agreed a secret code amongst themselves. From now on, instead of saying they committed adultery, they would say they have "fallen".

All went well for years until eventualy the bishop moved the priest to another Parish and replaced him with a new one.

The new priest did not know the code. He was most disturbed that so many parishioners kept falling so he complained to the Mayor that the sidewalks in town are un-even and that he should do something about it to stop people from falling.

The Mayor, knowing the code, laughed out loudly.

The priest said: "I don't know what you're laughing about. Your wife fell three times this week."

Do you remember when the Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman caught committing adultery?

According to Jewish law she had to be stoned to death for that sin. We’re told in the Gospel of John that Jesus wrote in the sand with His finger. We’re not told what He wrote. I guess He wrote ‘Dear God … will they never learn?’

But that’s not important; what is important is that after He said let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone, and when they all left one by one, Jesus turned to the woman and asked ‘Is there no one left to condemn you?’

She said ‘No one …’

And Jesus replied ‘I do not condemn you either. Go, but do not sin again.’

Now Jesus did not mean do not sin any sin whatsoever ever again for the rest of your life!

He knew that that would be impossible. The woman was human, and it is natural that she would sin again. Jesus knows our human nature and He knows that we are liable to sin again and again …

What Jesus said to the woman is, do not commit that particular sin again … it is serious enough to get you into a lot of trouble with the Pharisees as well as with God Himself.

And that’s what Jesus is saying to us today.

He knows we are weak … He knows that we will sin … which is why we have the Holy Sacrament of Confession.

By saying ‘do not sin again’ Jesus is warning us to beware of those particular sins which are serious enough to lead us into damnation, and into an eternity of exclusion from our Father in Heaven.

As we prepare for our weekly confession we need to consider carefully the seriousness of our sins. Which ones are venial sins; and which ones are grave enough to exclude us from God’s ever lasting love.

In our propensity to sin, God is loving and caring enough to forgive us again and again.

But with our confession there should also be remorse and guilt for what we have done. Confession should not be just a laborious recitation of the same old sins; and a futile exercise which serves no one and certainly does not fool God Himself.

Without true remorse, and a genuine resolve not to repeat our sins; then confession means nothing. And it would be better not to go to confession at all. At least that is honest in the eyes of God.

16 comments:

  1. Wow! This is excellent! I love the part about "falling!"

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    Replies
    1. Well Monica ... I fell on the sidewalk the other day, and I dare not tell the priest about it.

      Thank you for commenting Monica.

      God bless you.

      Delete
  2. So errie. I just quoted this passage to a man on my blog who accuses Pope Francis of turning people over to be tortured/killed by the junta in Argentina.
    http://themotherofnine9.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/this-guy-is-the-real-deal/

    My response?
    IF he did, He has obviously repented, attoned and lived a new life for the past 3 decades! those who are forgiven much, love much

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    Replies
    1. Hi Melanie,

      People will always want to say something to undermine the Pope and the Church. I believe they tried the same tricks with Jesus.

      God bless.

      Delete
  3. Melanie, he never did that. It is one of those "Pius XII was Hitler's Pope" and "Benedict XVI was a Nazi because he was forced into the Hitler's Youth" routine. Strike the Shepherd to disperse the flock strategy. That story has already been debunked, so fear not.

    Victor, a really great post. True that if we are unrepentant we shouldn't go to confession. Besides, no repentance = no absolution even if the priest says the words because we have to be sorry to be forgiven.

    Repetitive sin is tough to confess, but repetitive sin doesn't mean we're not sorry. In my post over at Community of Catholic Bloggers on Lenten Tidbits: Confession, I shared a suggestion from a spiritual writer on how to overcome repetitive sin. Identify the motive and confess that. Wow, what a difference that made for me.

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    1. Confess the motive for the sin. What a confession that would make, Barbara.

      God bless.

      Delete
  4. Hi Victor,
    Lol! Remind me to use the word "tripped" from now on! Excellent post. I think you're right on the mark with your words about Confession. We can also ask God for true sorrow for our sins if we aren't truly sorry. I'm guessing that would be a prayer He'd love to answer.

    God bless!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's right Mary. The word "falling" has a new meaning. I'm very careful now on the sidewalk in case I fall.

      I like your prayer suggestion.

      God bless you.

      Delete
  5. Victor,
    Excellent as always. I often wonder what Jesus wrote. I think my favorite guess was that he was writing their sins one by one. How powerful would that have been! It had to be something worth remembering ... otherwise why would the Evangelists have included it?
    God Bless you.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Michael. Jesus would have been writing for a long time if He wrote down all their sins. I often wonder why the Evangelists included this bit in their Gospels.

      God bless.

      Delete
  6. Seriously good, in all seriousness.
    God bless.

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  7. Victor, So glad you elaborate on the second part of the story...'Go and sin no more.' Sometimes, in the current culture I think it gets left out. Mercy is always there to meet us at the moment of repentance.
    And as usual, you left us with a smile.
    Blessings always +



    Blessings and +

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's great to see you visiting us again, Caroline. Thank you.

      Yes, the Lord's mercy will forgive us again and again as long as we truly repent.

      God bless you, Caroline.

      Delete
  8. Great post Victor. Confession without remorse and resolve is empty of an real meaning. And incredibly disrespectful to God to waste his time on our self absorbed selves. He must shake his head over and over in these situations.

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    Replies
    1. You're so right Noreen. I think sometimes we need sermons on Sunday about Confession; to explain to the people what it really means.

      God bless.

      Delete

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