January 28, 2022
by Barbara Dilly
Creighton University - retired
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas,
Priest and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 321

2 Samuel 11:1-4a, 5-10a, 13-17
Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6a, 6bcd-7, 10-11
Mark 4:26-34

Praying Ordinary Time

On St. Thomas Acquinas, from Saint for the day

An Even Better Marriage

It is not difficult to consider our own sins in these readings. The Psalm, likely written by David himself, speaks to us all for two reasons. 1)  We are all sinners and 2) We are confident we can call upon God for mercy. But are we confident enough? It is that confidence I reflect on today, more so than even our sins. David was certainly a sinner. Yet, he is a role model for Christians because he genuinely repented for his sins. Where did he get that confidence? Many of us certainly do not always feel that confidence. Sometimes we hold back from honest repentance out of a sense that it will put us in such a state of guilt and fear that we will not be able to live out our lives in confidence and righteousness. That is often true for me. I must really work at confession. It is not a mere recitation of petty sins that makes me feel uncomfortable. It is the deeply honest reflection on my shortcomings that I often avoid. To have the confidence to call for God’s compassion to wipe out our offenses and thoroughly wash us from guilt, we need to have a strong faith in the Lord’s goodness. It follows then, for me, that my faith is only so strong as my willingness to sincerely repent.

The question for me, then, is how can I strengthen my faith through sincere and honest confession of my sins? That is a good question for all Christians. The New Testament lessons tell us however, the answer should not be a big mystery. Even children can understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. It is as simple as this: God forgives us because God loves us. No matter what we confess, God loves us. In fact, even more so the more honestly, we confess our sins. But sincere confession does take confidence in God’s love and goodness. Through Jesus, any barriers to God as a result of our sins and our limited understanding of God’s love have been removed. All we need is faith. And it seems to me, in my practice, that faith can grow if we daily confess our sins, believing in God’s forgiveness. Our faith grows stronger when we trust that no matter what evil we have done, God does not turn against us. Instead, God turns away from our sins. God blots them out, forgives us and continues to love us. In my experience, our faith grows when we feel that love more strongly every day and rejoice in it. I pray today that all Christians can feel that love more strongly each day as we practice honest confessions.

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