Run away from sin
What this means is that we are all sinners. No one can claim to be a saint, as long as he or she is still living. We sin in many ways: in our thoughts, our words, actions and inactions.
We can also sin through our sight and what we hear. That is why we are always admonished to be careful of what we do, say, see, hear or do, so that we may not sin against God.
During the period of Lent, we were all given the unique opportunity to forsake our sins and make amends with God. For Catholics, the sacrament of penance is a sure means of making peace with God. In several portions of the Bible, God calls His people to repent of their sins and return to Him.
In the book of Ezekiel 18:30, we hear God call out through the prophet saying: “Therefore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offences; then sin will not be your downfall.”
The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. The Bible describes sin as the breaking, or transgression, of God’s law (1.John 3:4). It is also defined as disobedience or rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7), as well as independence from God.
Sin entered into the world through Adam and Eve. It brought with it total annihilation of man from God.
But because of His love for us, God gave us another chance to be reconciled with Him through Jesus Christ.
During his earthly journey, Jesus was always hammering on repentance. He said He had come to set the captive free. Who are the captives? All who continue to wallow in sin.
When we continue to commit sin, we drive the spirit of God away from our heart. And when the Holy Spirit departs from you, you will become empty and vulnerable to all forms of attacks by the enemy.
The reason it is important that we all repent is that we do not know the time or the hour, when we shall be called away. We all see how lives are cut short these days due to acts of terrorism.
Some sleep and never wake up. Anything can happen any minute. Why take the risk of staying away from God? You may say in your heart that my sins are too much to be forgiven. You are wrong.
God is always ready to take you back, as long as you are truly sorry and are ready to change for the better.
God is very patient. He says in the book of Isaiah: “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD.
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
Just like the toddler that tries to walk, falls and struggles to rise again, we too are expected to rise again when we fall into sin. That is why we are encouraged to go to confession always. The book of Psalm 103:8-12 says: “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse, nor will He harbour his anger forever. He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
May God grant us His Holy Spirit to convict us of our sins and give us contrite hearts, so we may remain faithful to Him. Amen.
• Very Rev. Msgr. Osu, Director, Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos.