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Tuesday, February 25, 1997

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Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
Psalm 50
Matthew 23:1-12

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better dead than red

"Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool." —Isaiah 1:18

You've heard of "white lies." Actually, there is no such thing as a colored lie. There are no black, green, orange, or white lies. However, the Lord does refer to colored sins — at least the color of scarlet: crimson red. As a scarlet red stain is sometimes the most difficult to remove, so certain sins are the most difficult to forget and to forgive ourselves for committing. Even after we have repented, gone to Confession, and been forgiven, we still feel guilty and ashamed.

We must soak in the bath of God's word (Eph 5:26) if the stain of scarlet sins is to be removed. During Lent, we have a special opportunity to soak in God's word. Jesus inspired Lent when He overcame the temptations of Satan by repeatedly quoting God's word (see Mt 4:1ff). At Lent especially, we should abide in God's word (Jn 8:31). If we do, the truth of God's word (see Jn 17:17) will set us free (Jn 8:32) from the persistent guilt of scarlet red sins.

Prayer:  Father, may I repent so quickly and live so deeply in Your word that my guilt will only be momentary.

Promise:  "Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, but whoever humbles himself shall be exalted." —Mt 23:12

Praise:  For several decades, Rico has read the Bible daily — on his knees.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, The Secret of Confession.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 1, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 6, 1996