On the outside, sometimes it can look like I have it all together. The truth is that my life would fall apart if it wasn’t for Jesus. Even if all the external and material things were the same, I would be missing part of the only part of my life that really gives me peace.
It’s easy to fool ourselves that if we pull ourselves together and work hard enough, we could fix all of own problems. After all, we are the ones that create our own mess, so it can make sense on the surface. I know I’ve fallen for this many times and let my pride hold me back in receiving help because I refused to look past myself.
I am a sinner, and this is why I am a Christian. None of us are capable of saving ourselves from our fallen nature, and this is why we all need Jesus. To truly follow Jesus means that we have to be convicted to take action and make the conscience decisions to let Jesus be Lord of our lives.
The season of Advent is more about Jesus’ second coming than it is His first, but it’s admittedly easier to thinking about little baby Jesus in the manger than it is to think about the end of the world. Baby Jesus represents the great hope of our salvation and the love our Father has for us. The end of the world reminds us that “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.”
Our personal judgement reminds us that we will be accountable for every choice we made.
Being honest, no matter when Jesus finally comes again or which day I meet my end, I’m not sure I’ll ever feel ready. No matter how ready or not I feel, that day will come. The season of Advent brings out all the great readings and reminders that Christ is the hope of our salvation, and puts it in perspective pointing out that this should lead us to expectant joy of the lover of our souls.
My many bad, conscience decisions to reject God and His infinite love require reparations, not because His death upon the cross wasn’t enough, but because those things I have done and have failed to due deliberately separate me from what He offers us. Once we’ve chosen to go against God’s love, God is more than ready to forgive, but it requires that we do our part to ask for that forgiveness.
In a recent general audience, Pope Francis shared some wisdom on the graces of the sacraments. He said, “I can’t be baptised two or three or four times, but I can go to confession, and when I go to confession, I renew that grace of baptism.”
Advent may not be an official season of penance like Lent, but this time offers us opportunities to encounter God’s loving mercy as we prepare for His second coming. There is no better way to embrace His return than by letting go of all that holds us back. Make a plan on when you will go to confession this Advent. There are plenty of penance services this season, but you can also find it in the regularly scheduled times or by making an appointment with a priest.
My sin affects you, and your sin affects me because together we are one in the mystical body of Christ. Jesus will come again, and He wants us to be ready.
Beauty of Truth Podcast – What is Sin?