Some cultures and persons seem to think that sins committed by their parents and ancestors would cause them to be punished or greatly affected, as if such sins would be passed down throughout generations. Such cultures or persons begin to think that there is nothing they can do about it, and that the sin is beyond their control; and some begin to blame others for the situation they are in, instead of taking responsibility for themselves and striving towards change and conversion.
But the reality is this. today's reading makes it clear that God holds each individual responsible for his or her own sin. The reading tells us: "Why do you keep repeating this proverb in the land of Israel: “The fathers have eaten unripe grapes; and the children’s teeth are set on edge” 'As I live – it is the Lord who speaks – there will no longer be any reason to repeat this proverb in Israel. See now: all life belongs to me; the father’s life and the son’s life, both alike belong to me. The man who has sinned, he is the one who shall die.'" The reading also adds: "House of Israel, in future I mean to judge each of you by what he does – it is the Lord who speaks. Repent, renounce all your sins, avoid all occasions of sin! Shake off all the sins you have committed against me, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit!"
So what does this mean for us? It means that we cannot find a scapegoat or put the blame on others for sins committed. We are responsible for our spiritual growth and well-being and we can choose to avoid all occasions of sin, with God's grace and help. May we make every effort to break the vicious cycle of blaming, and instead take responsibility for our words and deeds, and glorify God in all we say and do.