Friday if the Second Week in Ordinary Time
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By GABY HUNDZA
But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises. For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said: “The days are coming , declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord. This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after the time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.
I’d really like to spend my time with this meditation focusing on verse 12: For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. God will always forgive our sins. It doesn’t matter what we do, He is understanding and compassionate.
Think of sin like toy blocks: if you stacked all of your sin up, you could easily see how you compare to everyone else. No one’s stack is the same height from our point of view – we either take pride in the fact that our own sin stack is not too tall, or we are shameful because it is taller than the others. The problem here is that we either see this as an accomplishment for not having the tallest stack or we worry too much because we believe our stack is too tall – we feel inferior or superior to others depending on how they compare to us. Now, if we look at it from God’s perspective, he watches over us from above, so the stacks that all seem so different to us are exactly the same in his eyes: we all have sinned, but no sinner is greater than another. We are all equal.
The reason I decided to try and explain that little metaphor is because we often are ashamed of the things we have done and it seems like we will be judged by God for how tall our stack is, but first of all, God will never judge us harshly for the sins we commit – he loves us and hopes that we will go to him when we mess up. Second of all, God can’t judge us or compare us to others like we so often do when we all have the same stacks in his eyes. We are his children and he wants us to come to him when we have done wrong, because he has the power to forgive and can release the weight of the sin from our souls. We should never turn away from God when we are fearful of what he will think of our sin, because we are not strong enough to hold on to our own sin – Christ died on the cross for us for this very reason.
It’s important to understand this, because at times we turn away from the Lord to help us with our struggles: we are ashamed. When we feel shame for this, we are choosing to walk away and hide from God. The more you hold on to these feelings, the heavier the sin will feel (spoiler alert: no matter how long you hold on to this sin or how bad it may seem, God will always forgive you!!). God tells the people “I will forgive their wickedness” – I don’t know how else to say it, but he is literally telling them that he will forgive all for their bad deeds. God is an all-powerful and compassionate father – he cares deeply for each and every one of us, and he wants to be the one we go to when we have done something bad; he’s the only one that can bear the weight of our sin.
He does not get angry when we commit a sin, but he rejoices when we come to him for forgiveness and guidance in these situations. Take time to talk to him about the struggles and weaknesses you have, because the only thing that will ever last is his love for us, and he desires to help us grow and help us conquer the pain and weakness that is holding us down. Choosing to hide from God when we are ashamed of our sin is like letting the sin control us. Don’t let the sin and shame take over when we have a wonderful God who always forgives and will always be with us through the hard times!
We can never do anything that will cause God to love us any less – he will always forgive us, always love us, and always care for us.