Friday 22 July 2022

Saturday of Week 19 Year 2

We sometimes hear of persons blaming their parents and ancestors for the mess they are in. Such persons seem to think that the actions and wrongdoings of their parents and ancestors would cause them to be punished or greatly affected, as if such actions and wrongdoings would be passed down from one generation to the next. Instead of taking responsibility for themselves and striving towards change and conversion, such persons conveniently think that there is nothing they can do about it, and that the sin is beyond their control; and others are blamed for causing them to be in the situation they are in.

But 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? It means that we cannot find a scapegoat or make excuses and put the blame on others for sins committed, and that there is no such thing as the consequences of sins or wrongdoings being passed down from one generation to the next. 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.

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