The nature of sin

Fr Peter says today’s Gospel (Matthew 5:27-32) passage is very challenging, especially when we reflect in our spiritual life on the nature of sin and its effect on us.

When we recall those moments when we have turned away from the love of God we may feel that God doesn’t love us or that he doesn’t want to any part of our lives. It is hard to deal with such an experience that truly affects the heart of who we are.

God is a God of love who wants the best for us and wants us to know he is there for us always.

There is a saying in the Old Testament that ‘man looks at appearances but the Lord looks at the heart’.  There are times when we judge the appearances of a particular person by what they look like, what they wear or who they hang around with. All of us want to feel accepted – none of us want to feel that rejection.  When we think of sin, sometimes, we think that God rejects us.

The Gospel today as blunt as it is in the way it conveys its truth to us, may seem that we are not good enough; that there’s no point living out our faith when we fall from grace.

In reflecting on this Gospel, Fr Peter calls to mind the beautiful image of the prodigal son and his loving father embracing him.  After the son had squandered everything and made the journey home to family, he realised that the one thing the father did was embrace his son, welcoming him home.

Fr Peter says this is God’s way of saying ‘I’ll never give up on you; I’ll wait for you to come back to me.’

As challenging as it maybe, the theme of love in today’s Gospel reminds us once again that when we hear of such commandments, like those we reflected on a couple of days ago, that our faith may come across as a set of rules and regulations but that is not its heart.

Our faith is based on love, it is based on a God who loves us… all we have to do is to love him in return as a way of giving thanks.