Reflection for Monday, 30 March 2020
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus,
‘Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”’
Jesus’ condemnation of sin does not outweigh His love for the sinner. We need to learn to do likewise. We are so quick to judge, condemn, and punish others. If only we were so quick to love as Jesus! We are quick to assume sinful motives to others and rush to judge their actions. Then we seek to separate ourselves from them, as if we were sinless ourselves. Or we try to explain away the sin rather than acknowledging it and separating the sinful act from the person who committed that act.
We can condemn sin and still love the sinner. Indeed, we must do this in order to love any human person, as we are all sinners. Can we cultivate a healthy hatred for sin and love each other at the same time? I believe we can, with the help of God. Christ Jesus gave us the perfect example of this from His Cross. Jesus said, of the soldiers who are torturing Him to death, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) This is the essence of God’s perfect merciful justice. He loves us too much to condemn us for our sins, and also loves us too much to ignore our sins or leave us enslaved to sin. To love the sinner is to want to raise them out of the darkness of sin and to equip them to resist future temptations. This is the love that allowed Jesus to forgive the woman of her adultery and command her to sin no more.
Peace in Christ,
Father Matthew Kuhn