From The Hand of Fr. Aaron Ferris For September 30, 2018

Almost every news headline is about sin these days. The old adage of journalism that “bad news is good news” is alive and well today. People like salacious stories, and over the past months there have been a slew of salacious stories: the #MeToo movement, Brett Kavanaugh, the Church crisis. Not all bad news is about sex, but these often capture our attention the most.

The challenge that underlies all this, though, is what we are supposed to do about sin. While some sins are also crimes, not everything that gets splashed across the newspapers and the internet is a crime. For those sins that are crimes there is a legal process to deal with them. Whether that process is always just or correct is a question for another day. There is in principle a way to deal with crime.

What do we do with sin, though’? This is a particularly challenging because we all sin. Sure, you may not have committed this or that sin, and never would, but each and every one of us is a sinner. Chances are there are plenty of skeletons in our closets that we wouldn’t want the world to know about, those things that we have done, and maybe continue to do, that we are ashamed of.

We know that we are called to forgive other people’s sins. This is very clear from Jesus’ teaching. Even our whole sacramental system is ordered around this reality because everything begins with Baptism and the forgiveness of sins. This is a great mercy from the Lord because it means we can rise up from the wreckage of our sins. It is also a great challenge because we must deal with other people’s sins and help them rise up from the wreckage of their actions.

That being said, we also have to prudentially deal with the reality of other people’s sins. Someone who has robbed a bank should not be hired as a bank manager. There are consequences to our actions that need to be dealt with on an individual and a communal level. Forgiveness does not mean we throw our brains out the window. We still must be prudent and wise.

In a world that likes broadcasting sin, along with the fact that we are all sinners, it is worth considering how we deal with the reality of sin in our own lives and in our relationships with others. With the light of the Holy Spirit, we need to think our way through how we are to live forgiveness wisely and prudently.

This is going to be our topic for the next few weeks.

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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