First Reading: Nm 21:4-9; Psalm: 102. R. v. 1; Gospel: Jn 8:21-30
THE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
“I go away, and you will seek me and die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come.” (Jn 8:21)
Scripture says that “The wages of sin is death.” (Rm 6:23). Of course we are all sinners but this does not imply that we are all condemned to die because Jesus has shown us the way to salvation. However, those who will face death are those who stubbornly choose to remain in their sins without any serious effort to repent from them and accept the salvation that Jesus offers. Death here does not mean physical death which is the necessary medium of transition from this world to the world beyond. The death which the Scripture talks about is eternal damnation. The punishment reserved for unrepentant sinners.
Jesus emphasised this in his opening statement in the gospel of today when he said to the Pharisees, “I go away, and you will seek me and die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come.” Jesus said this with the utmost disappointment. Jesus was rounding up his ministry to embrace his passion yet his years of fruitful service yielded no fruit in the hearts of some Pharisees who refused to believe in him. Consequently, they cannot follow Jesus to share in the eternal life of heaven because they have condemned themselves by their unbelief.
There are certain opportunities that come once in life and never to return again. If we missed it, we have missed it. The opportunities that God offers us every day to return to him diminish every day. The danger of not seizing these countless opportunities is that we do not know how often we would have them. We all can be stubborn at times in sin just like the people of Israel who persistently turned against God and consequently died from the bites of the fiery serpent due to their unbelief. But God has been merciful to us through the salvation which we received in Christ Jesus. Our luckiest gift in life is the life we still have. We can use this life to gain the real life that never ends. And this real life can only be found in Jesus.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Have mercy on us Lord Jesus. Forgive our sins and grant us the grace to remain united to you. Amen.