My head was bent in shame as I named my sin aloud to the priest, tears streaming down my cheeks. I was on a retreat in my Senior year of high school confessing the same old sin. I wanted to be alert and ready for the coming of the Lord as Saint Paul tells us in the First Reading (see 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11). Yet, I could not struggle through it on my own. So many things distracted me from Him. So many things still do.
In high school, when I went on retreats and received the Sacraments, I sought the refuge of the Lord, but my attachments to my sins were like the unclean demon in today’s Gospel crying out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?” (Luke 4:34) I was so caught up in that same sin that in the face of temptation I could not hear Jesus’ word, “Be quiet! Come out of him!” (Luke 4:36)
The Lord eventually freed me from my sin. He poured in His love and mercy, giving me His strength when I had none myself. Over the years since, I have allowed the Lord to destroy many of my attachments to sin, but now there are others that I confess every two weeks when I go to the Sacrament of Penance. I still need Him to help me overcome my habitual sins.
Sister, the Lord has indeed come to destroy sin in us, to triumph over evil in our hearts. Remember that “God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9). Whatever your temptations to sin, whatever weighs down your heart so that you cannot hear the Lord clearly, He wants to free you from it.
Let us turn to the Lord today and hear His word in our hearts.He wants to free you. // @susannacspencer Click To Tweet
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