Today’s Gospel: Luke 17:1-6 – Memorial of St. Martin of Tours
Isn’t it interesting how Jesus says, “Look guys, sin is going to happen in the world. Just don’t be the ones who sin or who cause others to do it but forgive others if they do.” I call this ‘practical Jesus’. He knows that everything He preaches about God’s love isn’t going to eliminate sin in the world, so He prepares His disciples for that. There’s no pie-in-the-sky idealism here. This is real practical advice. Sin will happen, but that doesn’t mean we can give up the fight. No! We can control our actions. We can choose not to sin. We can’t expect the world to be sinless. But we can resist sin and help others from sinning. And when they do sin and are sorry for it, we need to forgive them. So, prepare for it.
But Jesus doesn’t leave His disciples with the doom and gloom of “Sin will happen”; He goes on to give us hope.
When His disciples implore Him to increase their faith, Jesus tells them that the smallest amount of faith can do amazing things. He’s just told them that sin is real and it’s going to happen. But the tiniest bit of faith is still more powerful. Jesus doesn’t say, “Sorry guys. There’s so much more sin in the world than there is faith, you’re all basically screwed.” He’s telling them (and us) that faith is so much more powerful than sin. We can take comfort in that. Even our little bit of faith makes a difference. We just need to put our faith in Him and stay away from sin as much as possible. And when sin happens, don’t let go of your faith, instead ask for and offer forgiveness.
Do I let sin in the world make me lose faith? How can I learn to use my small faith to help me during times of discouragement so that it can move mountains in my life and in the lives of others?
Jesus, thank You for preparing me to handle sin in the world and for helping me resist it. Help me to forgive those who sin against me, and to seek forgiveness when I sin against others. But most of all, give me confidence in the power of faith over sin to move mountains.
Copyright 2019 Laura Nelson
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