Wednesday 4 February 2015

3rd Sunday of Easter Year B

In ancient times, maintaining cleanliness and proper sanitation was not as simple or easy as today, but people still made effort to ensure that their homes and living quarters were kept clean as best as possible. Maintaining cleanliness also means taking out the garbage, lest the house itself ends up becoming a rubbish dump, which would then attract unwanted creatures like cockroaches, rats, mice and other creepy crawlies which either thrive on the rubbish or feed on the pests and vermin that thrive on the rubbish, which would then pose a danger to humans. We have read horrible accounts of diseases and other deadly forms brought by such unwanted creatures.

However, all this effort of maintaining cleanliness and proper sanitation is only for this world that we live in. What about the trash and junk which we may have picked up when we commit sin? We also need to put out that garbage for collection. If we don’t put out that trash for collection it will also become a dreadful mess, a mess inside us, affecting our entire self. The first reading reminds us: "Now you must repent and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out." Notice that the reading says "now" and not tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, or as and when we are free. The second reading further reinforces the urgency to put out the garbage within us and reminds us that "Jesus Christ, who is just; is the sacrifice that takes our sins away, and not only ours, but the whole world’s." But we must repent and turn to God, so that our sins would be wiped out. So if you have garbage or junk in your life, Jesus is waiting to take it from you; but He will not take it from you by force; He will wait for you to go to Him or open yourself to Him.

This is why we need to constantly remind ourselves of the importance of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This Sacrament is there to remove the accumulated rubbish, garbage and junk from our souls. It is not the priest that you meet in Confession, it is Jesus you meet, and it is He who heals you during the Sacrament. It is not just a Sacrament that is meant only for the season of Advent and the season of Lent. It is a sacrament for use all year round, God's Grace is waiting for us all year round. God is inviting us to get rid of the rubbish which is dirtying and damaging our soul, so that we may have a clear and open channel for God to guide us and heal us. It is strange that people would make lots of effort to buy expensive perfumes and take regular baths to ensure that their bodies are clean and smell pleasant, but they do not see the necessity or urgency to keep their souls clean and smell pleasant too.

Are we still procrastinating and putting off this wonderful and helpful means of getting rid of our inner rubbish? Why allow ourselves to become a source of attraction to the evil vermin waiting to devour us, or infect us with deadly diseases and destroy our being? God is inviting us to get rid of the leprosy of sin within us; it is up to us to seize the many opportunities given to us to seek forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and be clean once again as we grow closer to Him.

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