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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

Failing in Holiness (Holy Warriors Part 64)

Today’s readings:

2 Samuel 11:1-17

Psalm 51:3-11

Mark 4:26-34

David was chosen, anointed, appointed and empowered. He was God’s holy warrior, a man after God’s own heart. But he was also a sinner, a great one. He committed adultery with Bathsheba and committed murder on her husband Uriah (2 Sm 11:4,15).

It is ironic that many who are destined for greatness are also susceptible to great sin. But it is a reality. We are all sinners, even as we strive for holiness. And it is also a reality that God often makes use of great sinners. Consider Saul who became the great apostle Paul.

We do have a way out of sin. It is repentance. What must we know about sin and repentance?

* We were born with original sin. “Behold, I was born in guilt, in sin my mother conceived me.” (Ps 51:7). While this sin is already washed away by Baptism, there remains the flesh within us, keeping us prone to sin. We must be mindful of this reality, and be vigilant, continuously and deliberately striving for holiness.

* The sins we commit are always against God. “Against you, you alone have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your eyes” (Ps 51:6a). We oftentimes sin against our neighbor, but all sin is ultimately against God. So even as we would reconcile with our neighbor, we confess such sin to God, who is offended by all unrighteousness. The sin against God affects our ministry, as sins block the flow of grace and empowerment.

* We must know what is sin, both those of commission and omission. “For I know my transgressions; my sin is always before me.” (Ps 51:5). We must examine our conscience regularly, preferably every night before we go off to sleep.

* Our way out is repentance, coming from a merciful and compassionate God. “Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love; in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions.” (Ps 51:3).

* When we sincerely repent, we are forgiven by God. We are washed clean. “Thoroughly wash away my guilt; and from my sin cleanse me.” (Ps 51:4). We are renewed in our relationship with Him.

Being called to holiness, having holy divine work to do, what can we do to help minimize sin in our lives?

* Know that God is indeed calling us to holiness, even as we are sinners. We can be holy, if we sincerely seek to be holy. We trust in God for His help. “Behold, you desire true sincerity; and secretly you teach me wisdom.” (Ps 51:8).

* Truly desire to be like Jesus, as we are called to be. “Cleanse me with hyssop, that I may be pure; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” (Ps 51:9). Know that God’s mercy, grace and strength are given to us.

* Rejoice in God’s calling, and in His work in and through you. “You will let me hear gladness and joy; the bones you have crushed will rejoice.” (Ps 51:10). Even as we repent and are sorrowful for sin, we rejoice in God’s forgiveness and restoration. “Turn away your face from my sins; blot out all my iniquities.” (Ps 51:11). We do not let the enemy bring us down because he has succeeded in making us sin, but we allow Jesus to lift us up, now even more determined to be holy. As Jesus rejoices in bringing back the lost sheep, we too rejoice.

One more thing. We as holy warriors are called to do divine work. And God can use anyone, even the greatest of sinners. When we fall into sin, we affect our relationship with God, and depending on the sin, the stream of grace and empowerment can be cut. But if our sin is not deadly, God continues to use us. We must continue to allow ourselves to be used.

God’s divine work is the restoration of His dominion over the world. The first step in that process is the proclamation of the gospel. It is sowing the seed. Jesus says, “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land” (Mk 4:26). Even as we continue to sin, we must continue to sow the seed by preaching the gospel. Then God can bring about the fruit, as “the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit” (Mk 4:27-28).

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