A dear friend of mine is an ex-convict. He served his time entirely, not a single day was shaved from his sentence, and the way he tells it, he would not have desired it any other way. Every day, he would stop and think, consider his mistakes, relive the many times he had failed to do right. At first, he found excuses for his choices, but eventually, looking in the mirror allowed him to see the one who had missed the mark. Admitting culpability freed him to change. Scripture helped him mold himself into the person he felt called to be, and he succeeded with God’s help. He is today an embraced member of society. He volunteers with at-risk youth and takes those from poor communities who struggle with abandonment and depression under his wing.
When I ask him why he does all this work, he just tells me, “God forgave me, a sinner. How can I repay that? I know what it is to have done bad; it is time just to do good.”
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” (Mark 2:17)
Christ came for us sinners. That means us, yet how do we treat those who have publicly sinned, especially against us? Even as they repent, we tend to keep them at a distance. Aren’t we then guilty of a lack of love?
As forgiven sinners, it is time for us just to do good and help our brethren. Maybe our hands are the hands that are needed to help recover our brother. Instead of shunning, perhaps we can pray. Instead of pushing away, perhaps we can embrace. Our Heavenly Physician shows us the way. He is clear; can we follow his teaching?
Lord, you have claimed us. How can we ever repay you? You send us to bring glad tidings to the poor and proclaim liberty to the captives. Help us love rightly and provide help to our brothers and sisters who struggle in a life of sin. Amen.
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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