"The Lord said to Moses, 'Go down at once to your people.'" —Exodus 32:7
When we see people doing terrible things, we don't want anything to do with them. We disavow having any connection with them or responsibility for them. For example, a mother may say to her husband: "Guess what your daughter did today." The Lord seems to be doing the same thing after His people adored the golden calf. The Lord may have been testing Moses when He said: "Go down at once to your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, for they have become depraved" (Ex 32:7). Moses rightly responded: "Why, O Lord, should Your wrath blaze up against Your own people, whom You brought out of the land of Egypt?" (Ex 32:11)
Who are the people you want to disown? Resist this temptation. Like the father of the prodigal son, run to embrace and grace with love and mercy those who have sinned (see Lk 15:20ff). Don't be like the unforgiving older brother of the prodigal son. The older brother refused to acknowledge the younger brother as his brother, saying to his father: "This son of yours" (Lk 15:30). But the father replied: "This brother of yours..." (Lk 15:32)
Forgive. Love the sinner, and hate the sin because you love the sinner.
Prayer: Father, may I have nothing to do with sin and have a great love for sinners.
Promise: "Search the Scriptures in which you think you have eternal life — they also testify on My behalf. Yet you are unwilling to come to Me to possess that life." —Jn 5:39-40
Praise: Peter prays for the grace to pray: "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do" (see Lk 23:34).
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape on Effects of Sin on audio AV 81-3 or video V-81.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 18, 2001
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2001