“In One Breath”

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26 February 2018

The prophet Daniel is front and centre stage in our Liturgy today. Prophets seem to have one thing in common. They possess wonder and awe in God’s presence. God is not just a higher being for them, but rather God is totally other, totally transcendent, the source of all being. Prophets respond to the God “who is” with wonder and awe. 

This is the reason why they rail against sin. Their denunciations are often fierce. Think of sin as a great “separating factor.” Sin impedes, and in some cases, can destroy our relationship with God, with others, with our very selves:

“To us, Lord, the look of shame belongs, to our kings, our princes, our ancestors, because we have sinned against you” (Daniel 9).

But sin is never announced in isolation in the Bible. The prophets, in particular, always accompany the disclosure of sin with the mercy of the Lord:

“To the Lord our God mercy and pardon belong, because we have betrayed him, and have not listened to the voice of the Lord our God nor followed the laws he has given us through his servants the prophets” (Daniel 9).

Remarkable isn’t it? In one breath God speaks of sin and salvation. Never is sin isolated from salvation. Likewise, never is salvation isolated from sin. We need truth as much as we need love.  

Sin and Salvation: Is this the way we, as a Catholic community, respond to sin? Is this our abiding attitude in the face of personal and social sin?

Amen to our God of Salvation.
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