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"Surely there is no one on earth so righteous as to do good without ever sinning" (Ecc 7:20)

Me? A sinner? If the original sin presupposes an enormous fracture of very serious consequences to the creation and especially to the humankind, it is true that we human beings have ourselves involved in problems and increased our problems through our personal sin, for which each one of us is responsible. It is in this way that the evil empire and its effects in the world have been extending. Although many refer to evil as a mystery, no one doubts its existence because all of us experience it.

The sad and terrible escalation of sin. In the light of revelation let us have a look how we human beings have increased the level of sin in the world and in this way all types of problems. Right from the beginning, we can see that Abel and Cain did respond in a different way to their relationship with God. Cain did not offer the just sacrifice that God demanded, but his heart hardened, he did not repent, and finally carried away by jealousy and anger murdered his brother. From this time sin began to multiply, to an extent that the Bible describes a shaking and tragic situation: "The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart" (Gen 6:5-6). And it is sin that offends and grieves God seriously: "But they rebelled and grieved his holy spirit" (Is 63:10).

The great fracture. Paul in the First Chapter of his Letter to the Romans, analyses the increase of evil in the world. Let us have a brief look at some of his considerations:

  • "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth" (Rom 1:18). Sin breaks up communion with God and separates us from him: "Rather, your iniquities have been barriers between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear" (Is 59:2). In addition, owing to ungodliness and lack of fear in our relationship with God, all unrighteousness is possible, and for all this we deserve the wrath and judgment of God. Humankind has a tendency towards rebelliousness and independence as far God is concerned and so many are those who give a free rein to this insolent renunciation and contempt for God! We don’t want God, we don’t want to know him, and we don’t want him to be the Lord of our lives. That is why the just wrath of God flares up: "Therefore he became their enemy; he himself fought against them" (Is 63:10). Some sins like injustice toward the weak (cf Ex 22:21-23) or unforgiveness (cf Mt 18:23 ff) seem to particularly awaken God’s holy wrath.
  • "For though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened" (Rom 1:21). Through our thinking and conscience we come to know God as our Creator and to discern the just and the good. Through him the conscience shows us our guilt: "For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me" (Ps 51:3). But sin hardens the heart, twists the thinking and blinds the conscience.
  • "Claiming to be wise, they became fools" (Rom 1:22). Sin goes hand in glove with deceit. We men can be so foolish that we believe that our thinking is more valid than the judgments of God. In this way we show that we don’t know the true wisdom, that is "the fear of the Lord" (Job 28:28) nor the true understanding that is "to depart from evil" (Job 28:28). The truth is that by sin we degrade and destroy ourselves: "But those who miss me injure themselves" (Prov 8:36).
  • "And they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves" (Rom 1:23-24). The idolatry is intimately linked to sin. When man does not worship God he necessarily puts his trust on creatures whichever these might be, seeking substitutes for God. In such a foolish exchange man can fall so low that he idolizes what is most disgusting and becomes alike to what he worships, man falls into such an animalism, he is dominated by his most base passions, giving free rein to all sort of impurity that corrupts the beautiful and holy design of God for the body and the sexuality.
  • "Because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator" (Rom 1:25). When due to idolatry we pervert the order in the depths of the human heart, which has been created to give glory to God, everything is perverted and the truth is exchanged for a lie, and the good for evil: "Ah, you who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness" (Is 5:20). And we are unable to recognize what is sin because we are its prisoners and lovers!
  • "For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men" (Rom 1:26-27). The promotion of homosexuality that we see in these days is nothing but the consequence and the expression of a serious spiritual, rational and moral disorder, to which idolatry and sin have given place. In these days men foolishly attempt to call evil good and the lie truth.
  • "And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done. They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. They know God’s decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die- yet they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them" (Rom 1:28-32). The man who rebels against God is unable to do good: "and all our righteous deeds are light a filthy cloth" (Is 64:6). When man chooses evil, God’s judgment removes restrictions over sin for him to sink into the abyss he has chosen. And we could say that never before there had been so many doors open to sin, as there are in our days. The list above is not more than a series of examples of where the hatred for God can lead us. The world praises the ungodly, foolish, perverted and proud; these are the ones who receive fame and recognition, these are the ones who others try to emulate, they are idols for the crowds.

An abyss of wickedness. Therefore it should not seem odd to us, although it should never cease to surprise us, the depths of deceit and foolishness man can fall into, the damage that man can do to himself and to his neighbor or the wickedness that a man’s heart can harbour.

Our memory reminds us of the sophisticated techniques of torture that have been used and continue to be used, or the great genocides of the humankind, some very recent, or the massacre of the innocent in the womb of the mother in the "clinics" of abortion. Also the damage that we do to one another by our words, our gestures, contempt, and the ones we do to ourselves with jealousy and envy. Similarly the great dictatorships that oppress the entire people, the great injustices, that so many times involve misery and poverty for many, the violence, the crimes, the mafias, the exploitation of human beings for obscure purposes, the slavery, the occult, the satanic cults, and their relationship with certain music, with drugs, with deceitful pagan practices and philosophies… Evils and vices, destructive for man, chains with which Satan enslaves a multitude of human beings. Thus man stays "sold into slavery under sin" (Rom 7:14).

We shall remember the curses that follow sin. From Deuteronomy 28:15 there are 33 types of curses that follow disobedience to the Law of God written in the heart of man and known through revelation. These curses affect our life: plagues and infirmities, violence and war, natural calamities, poverty and hunger and finally death. If we analyze the news in the media, we see that they are announcing and warning continuously of curses of these types. No one can feel secure or immune and finally soon or later we have to go through death.

But the greatest evil and the most terrible consequence that come to those who attract God’s judgment is the condemnation to eternal death: "but through the devil’s envy death entered the world, and those who belong to his company experience it" (Wis 2:24). As real as the rebelliousness against God, is the reality of eternal death: "all who hate me love death" (Prov 8:36), a death that passes through the experience of spiritual death and physical death and flows into the hell: "Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived!" (1 Cor 6:9). "You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire" (Mt 25:41).

Problems on all sides. Although we are used to sin and evil and their consequences surround us from all sides, we cannot surrender, we have to react urgently for the time is short. Let us try to save our life!

Questions for sharing:

  • Being the reality of sin something that affects all human beings, why so few of us want to admit this? Why do you think that not much is spoken of sin?
  • How much idolatry do you think is there in our days?
  • We know that God loves human beings, but what reaction their sin produces in God?

 

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