Posted under Reflections on March 6th, 2010 by

At that time some people who were present there told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices.  He said to them in reply, "Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans?  By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!  Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them– do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem?  By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!" (Lk 13, 1-5)


Are sin and guilt linked to suffering and death?

Many a times we tend to link them in our reflections and in our discussions. We say: so and so is suffering so much and he/she is suffering because he/she has sinned. When someone suffers a long sickness immediately we conclude saying that he/she has sinned heavily.

When we hear of death, even in the natural calamities (like Tsunami, storms, earth quakes etc) we immediately rush to conclude saying that these people are guilty of some grievous faults etc.

At times we even connect to one’s past life or life of his/her parents and forefathers for the sufferings of his/her present life.

Look at Jesus answer to this question of suffering: 

His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him. (Jn 9,2-3) 

When we look at the events of life like suffering and death with the eye of God then the answers to our natural questions are different.  Suffering and death are not linked to sin and quilt. Whatever happens in the life of an individual is to reveal the glory of God. God has a plan and he works his way through the events of life.

But Jesus links death to non-repentance.  Repentant life is to return to God. Placing God in everything and seeing everything in God’s eye is really a repentant life. An individual should be given a chance to repent, if need be, he should be given, even a second and a third chance.   Repentance leads to life and to GOD. 




Posted under Reflections on March 5th, 2010 by
Coming to his senses he thought, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”‘ So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him…
Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began. (Lk 15, 17-24).
Chapter 15 of Luke’s gospel speaks about conversion and the celebration after conversion. Jesus uses three parables to illustrate this point.
The first story speaks about the lost sheep and the next story about the lost coin. In both these stories the lost things are sought after. The shepherd goes after the lost sheep leaving the ninety-nine in the desert. In the same way, the lady sweeps the whole house in search of
the lost coin. When they are found there is rejoicing and celebration.
But in the story of the lost son (prodigal son), the father does not go after the son. He waits for him to return. When the son is on his way back the father runs to receive the son and has great compassion on him and there is great rejoicing and celebration. These three stories are models of conversion.
Why the father does not go after the lost son? It could be because the son decided to go away from the father. The decision is his. So he has to decide to come back. Even if the father were to go after him, if the son does not want to come back then his journey would be in futile. So the son has to decide to come back. This is the difference between the lost things and a lost person. The lost person has to retrace his decision. Then the father will run to take him back. Then there is celebration.
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