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. Jan 2019 .
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Doctrines & Morals

WE ARE MEMBERS OF CHRIST' FAMILY. (Gen 3: 9-15; 2Cor 4:13-5:1; Mk 3: 20-35).

At creation of humans in Genesis 1:26, God made a decision to create man in his own image and likeness. This decision was the first sign that God intended man to be part of his immediate family. Thus, when sin came in there was a separation yet God did not totally abandon his creation. 
On this 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, the church wants us to reflect on sin as what causes separation in God's family. Sin basically means missing the mark. The very moment we decide to go contrary to the norm, we have missed the mark. The readings chosen for today's liturgy give us a clearer understanding of this concept. 
The first reading is from the story of the fall of Adam and Eve. This is an integral part of our salvific history which reminds us of something that we inherited from them - Original sin. Also, it reminds us of the consequences disobedience. In the second reading, Paul declares to the Corinthians that the many adversities of his missionary work were God’s plan for his spiritual growth; his sufferings, offered with Jesus for the Salvation of the world, would result a glorious reward for him and for all believers who did the same. Today’s Gospel passage reveals how Jesus himself was misunderstood by his own relatives and was criticized, slandered and rejected by the Sanhedrin-led scribes and Pharisees. 
There are many lessons embedded in today's readings. Firstly, sin is sin. Many times, we try to justify and paint sin. This should not happen amongst us. We must be ready to accept that we have sinned and fall short of God's glory (Rom. 3:23).
Secondly, let us not blame others for our sins. This is what we see in Adam and Eve. After their disobedience, they failed to own up and accept they have sinned. Rather, they were pointing accusing fingers at each other. When we sin, it is no time to start pointing accusing fingers at others as if they are responsible for our sin. Every sin committed is a personal decision and we must be ready to face the consequences ourselves. Let's not blame others for our failures. 
Thirdly, even in sin, God keeps searching for us. In the first reading, God being omnipotent and all-knowing was certainly aware that Adam and Eve had sinned, yet, he asked, where are you?  God is never tired of searching for us even in sin. He wants us to come back and be reconciled with him. He is asking us today, where are you? Let us come out of our shame and guilt and return back to the Lord. 
Furthermore, we must know that shame and the feeling of guilt is part of a good contrition. When we don't feel it, then, we are not truly sorry for our sins. Our shame and guilt should not make us go into hiding; rather, it should make us approach God for mercy. 
In addition, we are part of God's family. Sin cut us away from this family. But when we reconcile, we are admitted back. Jesus described his family members as those who listen to the word of God and acts on them.
Lord, grant us the grace to overcome our shame and guilt that we may be reconciled back to you. Keep us always in your family and never let us be parted from you. Amen. 
Good morning and do have a restful Sunday. God loves you.
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