Today's responsorial psalm gives us much to think about:
"If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?"
Against the perfection of God we will all fall short. We are all mired in sin. We all do bad things that make us feel unworthy and undeserving of the mercy that God offers.
The psalm reminds us that God doesn't mark iniquities but rather forgives our transgressions. That God made us imperfect and that God doesn't expect perfection, for God alone is perfect. Therefore, we can relax and not try to usurp God's throne. We are not God and while we strive for perfection we never will reach that until we unite with God in the beatific vision.
If God were to condemn all of us for our sinfulness, who would be able to enter heaven? We are all doomed to sin. It is our one unifying factor.
Therefore we also need to be critical of how much appreciation we have for God's forgiving nature. We know that we don't really deserve to be forgiven and many of us will repeat the same sins over and over--which is commonplace--as we all have weak parts that we have a hard time overcoming. Whether lust, pride or gluttony, sin often capitalizes on our humanity.
So today let us think about the fact that we are a forgiven people and if God indeed loves us that much, then how much should we be making an effort to love one another? Lastly, how many people DON'T think that they can be forgiven. I have a friend who is a marginal church goer and he once said to me when he was going through a crisis that he thought God didn't like him and so he didn't bother with prayer.
"God doesn't like phonies." he said.
"But (name), we're all phonies. Those of us who go to church sin just as much as others do. We're all in great need to be mindful of what we do wrong but conscious of how God forgives us anyway.
And with that we have no need to fear confession or talking with God. As I said to my friend, "God isn't fooled by any of us. Sin makes us realize that we are not God and that's the only thing that I think I really know for certain."
God alone stands sinless. We stand in the filthy mess that we all make with our lives. That mess, called sin, is what we are all stuck with but we need to realize is that God doesn't keep score but instead forgives us all of our trespasses.
May we, in turn forgive those who trespass against us.
Homily for April 23
51 minutes ago