30th Week in Ordinary Time

 

If God is for us, who can be against us?

 

Have you ever gone backpacking?   If you have, then you know that you have to be judicious about what to bring.   If you load up your backpack with too much stuff, it may begin to feel so heavy that you end up having to shed some of the things you brought even before you reach your campsite!

In some ways, guilt can be like that.   It can make us feel as if we are trudging under the weight of an overstuffed backpack.   However, instead of useful items, carrying the weight of guilt is like carrying a backpack filled with rocks.   We should be shedding them; they aren’t helping us on our journey.   But for some reason, we hang onto them.

We don’t need these rocks!   God, who “did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all,” has freed us from sin and guilt (Romans 8:32).   “Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones?”   Paul asks. “Who will condemn?” (8:33, 34).   Certainly not the God who has saved us.   Very often it’s us.   We’re the ones who condemn ourselves!

That’s not what God intends.   He is for us, not against us (Romans 8:31).   So he offers us the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In Confession we encounter Jesus in the person of the priest.   As the priest listens to our sins, it is Christ listening to us.  As the priest absolves us, it is Christ speaking to us, freeing us from the weight of sin and guilt.   Suddenly that heavy backpack filled with rocks is lifted off of us.   We can stand up straight and hold our heads high.

What if you still feel guilty?   If guilt still lingers in your mind and you feel it weighing you down, make a habit of gazing at a crucifix.   It will help you understand more fully the truth that you’ve been forgiven through the blood that Jesus shed for you.   It may also help to go to Confession as often as possible.   The more you hear those beautiful words of absolution, the more convinced you’ll be that you don’t have to lug those heavy rocks of guilt any longer!

“Jesus, thank you for being for me, not against me.   Help me to experience the freedom you have won for me.”

Psalm 109:21-22, 26-27, 30-31
Luke 13:31-35

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