connect the dots
"Every man shall turn from his evil way." —Jonah 3:8
The people of Nineveh, wicked as they were, made the connection between their sins and the destruction to come. These people frequently brutalized and butchered large numbers of people. They were pagans, spiritually dead, the least likely to repent. Yet the prophetic word pierced their hearts, and they repented. Jesus commended them for this (Lk 11:32).
We fancy ourselves more sophisticated than the ancient Ninevites. We specialize in knowing connections, such as the connection between cholesterol and heart disease, drinking and liver disease, sanitation and the prevention of infection, physical health and mental health, etc. Yet we, in our "advanced" culture, miss the all-important connection between sin and damnation.
Our culture misses the connections between sexual sin and spiritual guilt, consumerism and lack of concern for the poor, contraception and the breakdown of marriage and family, relativism and the shortage of vocations, etc. Our culture specializes in missing the connection between Jesus and forgiveness of sin. So many act like the Pharisee, thinking they are OK with God while failing to know what acts are sinful, or even failing to know that they are sinners (Lk 18:11-12). If we were making these connections, the Confession lines in our churches would be full every week.
Jesus came to save sinners like us. All we need to do is make the connection that we are sinners and He is our Lord, Savior, and Redeemer. Repent!
Prayer: "O God, be merciful to me, a sinner" (Lk 19:13).
Promise: "A heart contrite and humbled, O God, You will not spurn." —Ps 51:19
Praise: Realizing an unforgiveness in her life was stifling the Holy Spirit, Nancy went to Confession and was set free.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 2006 & September 18, 2006
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