Scripture Reading: Genesis 3:8-11
Where you are matters a lot to God your Father and to you. Where you are even now reveals your state of mind or response to the action you have taken in a particular situation. It is also common to hear question of examination of conscience and attitude. A story was told of a father of four children who was always welcomed home from work with warm kisses and hugging by his children. He feels happy and fulfilled, seeing his children in cheers, high spirits and hopes, whenever he returned home from the day’s work. On this particular day when he returned home, the house was quiet and silent. His children did not come out to welcome, kiss and hug him as usual, because they had broken a very precious vessel in the house in the course of their playing. The children realized the gravity of the offence as their father had earlier warned them about the value of the vessel, and they all went into hiding for fear of the anger of their father. When their father looked here and there and could not find them he called out and said: “Where are you, children” as he called them by their names starting from the eldest. They were trembling and answered from their hiding; every one of them trying to absolve himself from blame and anger of their father. That is how we behave in our daily sinful life before our God. The Lord knows our actions, good and bad. There is nothing that we do or think in our hearts that escapes his eyes. Our scriptural reference today says, “But the LORD God called out to the man ‘where are you?’ He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden; I was afraid and hid from you, because I was naked.’ Who told you that you were naked?, God asked, Did you eat the fruit that I told you not to eat?” (Genesis 3:9-11). The children in our story knew that they had offended their father by breaking the precious vessel and would face his anger, so they all ran into hiding.
Dear friends, our sins strip us naked, open us to shame and send us into hiding from the presence of God. Sins make us weak and we become prey to the evil one. Sins make us wander into the wilderness of afflictions and trap of death. In all this the inner voice continues asking us ‘where are you?’ When we want to cover up our sins with excuses, the LORD calls out to us ‘where are you?’ When you are enjoying life with all the pleasures and leisures outside the presence and love of God, you are naked and covered with leaves among the trees, and the beauty of the LORD’s presence departs from you. Hear David as he says: “I recognize my fault; I am always conscious of my sins. I have sinned against you – only against you – and done what you consider evil. So you are right in judging me; you are justified in condemning me. Sincerity and truth are what you require; fill my mind with your wisdom” (Psalm 51:3-4, 6). The merciful and compassionate God sees our hearts, knows our thoughts and all that we do at every moment of our lives. Sincerity and acknowledgment of our sins and true repentance are what our Holy God requires of us. Our first step of reconciliation of our sins brings down the mercy and compassion of God and our confession and satisfaction bestow the forgiveness and blessing of God on us. Sin appears sweet and enticing but the mercy, compassion and love of God is what our souls thirst for.
- Take hymn No. 194 from the Catholic Hymn Book.
- Where are you, “Are you naked among trees and hiding from God? Ask the Lord to fetch you out of the trees.
- Pray with Psalm 51:1-19
- Pray for those in the fields of sin that the Holy Spirit will redirect them.
- Pray for all sinners and all souls in purgatory that the LORD will show them mercy and compassion.
Exercise: Make a sincere self-examination of conscience and go for Sacramental confession.
Memory Verse: Psalm 119:132