Monday, March 14, 2016

Writing in the Sand

Friends of Faith:
Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”Again he bent down and wrote on the ground. And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him. Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.” Jn 8: 1-11

What was the writing in the sand? Could it be that what was written in the sand was not quite as significant as the patience that Jesus displayed as he was writing? A patience that gives all the characters in the story time to examine themselves as sinners? Only God knows.
Not only is God all merciful, but it is only God we need to please. And it is in our task on the journey of life to not only know what pleases him, but to know how and if we are pleasing him. We can’t fool God.

Yet sometimes I try. I know sometimes that what I do, big or little isn’t what God would want or wanted me to do.
It’s not necessarily that my choice is to be a hypocrite, or even to do wrong. It’s that I am human. Sometimes I don’t know any better and I need someone with better judgment than me to tell me that I am, or what I am, doing is wrong.

Sometimes I haven’t yet received the wisdom to know differently and I need to study more about how the Christian Church was formed.
And sometimes I just need to understand that I am listening to the wrong voice within me. And while it may seem “easier” in my human nature to do what everyone else is doing, or what makes me feel happier because it gives me pleasure in that particular moment. If it is not God’s right it won’t leave me with a lasting happiness so that I may feel joy and peace forever.

One of the gifts given by the Holy Spirit at Confirmation is the gift of Right Judgment (1Cor: 12). The gift to know what is right by God and what is not right by God: the gift to be able to make choices based on knowing the difference between right and wrong in God’s eyes. It is a gift given so that with every step I make I can see the “writing in the sand” and hear and feel the mercy of God so that I can “go and from now on sin no more.”
Not only is this a gift I am given to know my own right and wrong, but it is a gift that I am asked to both be a witness to and to share with others so that each of us may become more holy. As a Christian I cannot judge how God will see someone, but it is my duty, regardless of how I will be treated, to share His commandments and to learn and discern the difference between Gods right and wrong.

I cannot say “it doesn’t affect me, or that some choice wouldn’t be my choice.” Would it be God’s choice? If we know what God’s choice would be, if we know what God’s writing in the sand would be, then His message must be shared with compassion and mercy.
In the words of St. Paul:This third time I am coming to you. “On the testimony of two or three witnesses a fact shall be established.”I warned those who sinned earlier …. that if I come again I will not be lenient, since you are looking for proof of Christ speaking in me. He is not weak toward you but powerful in you. For indeed he was crucified out of weakness, but he lives by the power of God. 2 Cor 13: 1-11 (Continued as a prayer)

Heavenly Father:  So also we are weak in him, but toward you we shall live with him by the power of God. Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless, of course, you fail the test. I hope you will discover that we have not failed. But we pray to God that you may not do evil, not that we may appear to have passed the test but that you may do what is right, even though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. For we rejoice when we are weak but you are strong. What we pray for is your improvement.  I am writing this while I am away, so that when I come I may not have to be severe in virtue of the authority that the Lord has given me to build up and not to tear down. V. Conclusion*
Finally, brothers, rejoice. Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Cor 13: 1-11 Amen.

Sometimes the message God shared falls on fertile soil – soil that is being nurtured, that wants to grow and learn more. Sometimes that message falls on sand and withers as it dries up waiting for a rain (tears) to bring it back up because it is not yet ready to bear fruit or grow. And sometimes it falls on rock – a hard heart, a stubborn “I know better” or “I like what I know and I don’t want to know more” attitude.

These attitudes, while they may look hypocritical on the outside are human nature.

But as long as my choice is to grow closer to God then God’s writing in the sand will not condemn me, but rather it will nourish me and help me to “go, and sin no more.”

Don’t ignore the writing in the sand.

Grow closer to the writing in the sand. Be patient with the writing in the sand. And share compassionately the writing in the sand.


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