From a Creighton Student's Perspective
December 28, 2011
Senior, Theology Major, Pre-Med
In these first few days of the Christmas season, we are filled with joy as we celebrate Christ fully coming into the world. Therefore, I thought it was somewhat strange that in this time of happiness and celebration we have readings focused on our common burden of sin. But I soon realized these readings help emphasize the truth that sin is a reality we all struggle with each day. Our natural inclination when we encounter our own sin is to try to hide it from others and act as if it never existed. Throughout my life, for example, I have found it extremely hard to admit when I have done wrong. In my mind, this admission brings the possibility that my friends and peers will think less of me, and this is one of my biggest fears.
However, in today’s first reading, John proclaims that we cannot have this mindset with God. He makes a vital declaration when he states, “God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5) As I thought more about what it means that God is light, I realized John is showing us that nothing in the world, including our own lives, is hidden from God. God as light reveals all, even our sin. Therefore, our attempts to hide our sin from God seem almost silly. Who am I to think that God does not already know my faults and the blunders I have committed? John is right when he writes, “If we say, ‘We are without sin,’ we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8) To say we are without sin is to proclaim we are not human. It is to say we have no need for God’s mercy or forgiveness, and we soon find that no lasting joy can come from this mindset.
Our joy comes from the belief that even with our wounded and sinful nature, God forever loves us fully and faithfully. In fact, Christmas was a profound celebration of this belief. We celebrated God’s act of sending his only Son into a world burdened by sin, so that his Son would fully share his life with us and even die to redeem us. Thus, there is not even the slightest possibility that God will think less of us when we confess our sins to him, and I believe this realization provides us an important sense of liberation. We are free to admit our sinfulness to God because we know God will “forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing”. Therefore, let us reflect today on the important grace that is God’s forgiving love and seek to experience this grace more often through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
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