Jesus said to his disciples, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the one through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.”
Lord, increase my faith in you! Remind me of the futility of sin - of those sleepless nights, painful fights and tasteless bites. May I never forget how my anger, revenge and resentment towards my unsuspecting friend can cause self-inflicted wounds on my body and soul.
Evil will always be present among us. That’s for sure! But there will be times when it is all my fault, my fault, my most grievous fault. What is it about me that can make love so self-seeking; hope so bloating and faith so self-serving? What has gotten into me? Or better, what has been removed from me?
Then, there will be times when I am pushed to the edge. Not by you, my friend and my God, but by the evil one! How he lures me, the well-educated. How he lures me, the self-made. How he lures me, the underprivileged. How he, my enemy, uses my status to make friends with me. How he, this evil companion, uses my sorrow-filled story to make friends with me.
It is so modern, in our modern culture, to declare yourself a victim. It is so fashionable, in our fashion oriented culture, to come out of the closet. It is so trendy, sort of speaking, to be shocking. We have all become victims; victims of our own success! Victims of our own selfish and distorted desires! Victims of our “two cents” and paper thin economy and culture! Our nation rides on a paper thin foundation.
Oh Lord, only through your grace, your amazing grace, could I possibly stand up to the test and allow nothing and no one to separate me from your love. Yes Lord, only by your grace, could I stand up to the test and declare myself a sinner! Oh how you love a humble heart! Oh Lord, only through your grace, could I possibly be honest with myself, look at myself and say to myself – “Who do you think you are?”
A week ago, while looking for pictures for All Souls Day, I came across an article about Miss World 2011, Ivian Colmenares. After her win, Colmenares told reporters that being orphaned at a young age was no barrier to achievement in life. Colmenares’ parents died when she was eight; the young girl was raised by nuns in a convent for five years. In fact, so influential was this period in her life that she once dreamt of becoming a nun. The reporter claims that she gave up the idea when she realized she could become famous and successful as a model.
But I wonder what this young girl really thinks. I think she knows much better. If the nuns taught her well, and if she considered this period of her life as so influential, then I am more than convinced that they taught her that fame and success could be easily yours as a “Miss”, like Miss Theresa of Calcutta; and that she could achieve everlasting “world”-wide and out-of-this-world success by being humble and poor; and that photographers from all over the planet would be rushing to take her picture till the very end of her life!
Jesus said to his disciples, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the one through whom they occur. Why? Because we have a tendency to go overboard, to jump into deep water and drown in our own sea of ambitions! Let us never forget who we are, what we are and who we belong to.
What causes us to sin? Imitations. Fool's gold! There is a crown of victory that awaits us that this world cheaply, but at times honestly, imitates! Ivian is a princess, but of a much greater God!