Scripture Reading: Galatians 6:7

After receiving divine mercy, some believers expect the Father to miraculously erase the cost of their sinful choices. When that doesn’t happen, they may start to wonder, “Did God really forgive me? Does He truly love me if I’m still suffering?” So the question in their mind is, “Should Christians who have been forgiven by their Creator endure the results of their sin?” The answer is, “Yes, sometimes.” Forgiveness and consequences are not in opposition. Together, they establish an essential part of the Lord’s plan for believers.

Forgiveness is relational. The Father sent Jesus to make a sacrifice on our behalf, and by so doing reconciled us to Himself. By His mercy alone, we can have communion with the Lord. On the other hand, consequences are circumstantial. The man who drank for many years and developed cirrhosis of the liver knows that his disease has a direct link to his alcohol abuse. The woman who had an affair realizes, deep in her heart, that her ruined marriage was a direct consequence of her sinful choice. God does not often remove consequences like these simply because someone trusts Christ as Saviour or confesses sin. Christ made it clear that the thief dying with him was completely forgiven (Luke 23:39-43). Yet moments later, the man died an excruciating death. His sins had been erased in God’s sight, but he suffered the punishment for his crime.

Consequences from sin are not an indication that a person isn’t saved or that God is angry with the individual. The Lord frequently allows some painful situations to continue so He can teach us lessons we would otherwise never learn. For example, suffering caused by sin can lead us in quiet desperation to seek God’s forgiveness. Very few things motivate us to give Him our undivided attention like being faced with the cost of our wrong choices. When we draw near to the Lord, He reveals how to respond correctly to painful circumstances. Unprecedented spiritual growth will often result. And even painful consequences do not prevent us from rejoicing in the Lord’s gifts of salvation and grace, we all have scars. Their purpose is not to cause us grief as a daily reminder of our sin, but rather to remind us of how gracious and merciful the Lord is. Praise God! He loves us and chooses to work through us despite our past mistakes and wrong choices.

MASS: VIOLET 1 Samuel 1:24-28; Ps.  1 Samuel 2:1,4-5,6-7,8abcd(R.1a) Accl: Come, O king of the nations and cornerstone of the Church! Come and save Man, whom you formed from the clay of the earth; Gospel Lk 1:46-56

Prayer point:

               1.            Pray with St. Alphonsus Liguori, “O my God, I have rebelled against You who have been and still good to me. You have created me, and have died for me, and I have so often betrayed You. Still You have continued to bear with me and offer me Your forgiveness. O my God it is only through Your mercy that not now in hell, but at Your feet seeking to know Your will for me. I hear You say to me: “You shall love the Lord Your God with all Your heart. Lord help me to resist Your calls no longer. Help me to stop giving You pain and displeasure”.

Exercise: Meditate on Jerimiah 3:12