Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Do you tend to get depressed by the power that sin seems to have over your life? - Daily Reflections October 20,2015

The text from today’s First Reading is what some theologians believe as the basis of St. Augustine’s development of the doctrine of Original Sin. Was this the intention of St. Augustine when he commented on Romans 5? I think not. Was it the intention of St. Paul when he wrote the letter? I am even more convinced that it was not. Does this mean that the doctrine of Original Sin is incorrect? Most scholars would agree that we need to be careful to correctly situate whatever sense of “Original Sin” that may be present in Romans 5. The emphasis is not really on Original Sin but that the grace of God that combats sin in the world is much more powerful than sin. The focus is not the power of sin, but the far greater power of the grace of God working for our redemption.
       The focus of Paul is the victory that Christ has won for us over sin, such that whatever power sin may have to destroy our lives, the power of Christ available to us through faith is much stronger. Paul wants us to focus on that power to overcome sin. Romans 5 is a proclamation of victory and therefore should be a source of joy for us; it is not in any way a resignation to the power or hold that sin has on mankind. It is the opposite.
       God sent His Son to liberate us from sin. This is Paul’s experience when he encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul has been freed from any hold that sin had over his life, whether it be through a misunderstanding of God’s Word or even a deliberate choice to go against God. This is what Paul wants us to celebrate — the fact that sin has no innate power over us anymore. This is truly a reason to celebrate and to celebrate with great joy. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Do you tend to get depressed by the power that sin seems to have over your life?
Lord, help me to live in the truth of the gift of salvation You have won for me. Grant me the grace to embrace the power of the cross (victory over sin) and the gift of the resurrection.

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