This Lent I have been trying hard to rededicate myself to reading the mass readings first thing in the morning.Have  you tried that? The daily Bible reading are available here on line. Quite often a reading jumps out at me, calls me away from other distractions – forcing me to dig a little deeper in my Lenten journey.

Today is one of those days.  Read this.

Reading 1EZ 18:21-28

Thus says the Lord GOD:
If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed,
if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just,                      
he shall surely live, he shall not die.
None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him;
he shall live because of the virtue he has practiced.
Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked?
says the Lord GOD.
Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way
that he may live?And if the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil,  HELLO!
the same kind of abominable things that the wicked man does,
can he do this and still live?
None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered,
because he has broken faith and committed sin;
because of this, he shall die.
You say, “The LORD’s way is not fair!”
Hear now, house of Israel:
Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?
When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies,
it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.
But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed,
does what is right and just,
he shall preserve his life;
since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed,
he shall surely live, he shall not die.
The reading shook me up. It is a great reminder that;
      we must be on guard, since the moment of our death is unexpected
      we cannot not rest in our laurels,
      it is important to strive to remain in a state of grace fighting for our sanctity moment by moment
      I need to get to confession, delaying it is a real risk
      I cannot depend on my good deeds of the past,
      I must fight with all of my might, the whispers in my head that say,
“You’re a good person, don’t worry about it. You have done everything you can. Forget about it, you have  confessed that sin over and over again. You are doomed to have it for the rest of your life. It is like a companion. It’s their problem. You have tried.”.
My mom often said that the battle for our souls rages on until the moment of our death.  Today’s readings are a great reminder of exactly that.

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