Monday, October 22, 2012

Let's Be Honest...We're Not Terribly Impressed With Jesus' Sinlessness


  1. This homily really makes me think, and I probably still have it wrong. But the assurance that i have all the tools to overcome temptation like Jesus human person did, ( at least when i leave the confessional) is awesome, very encouraging, and humbling.

    Thinking of Rom 7:21-25 where Paul tells us how he struggles with concupiscence, made me think this proposition through. i recall the council of trent answered questions caused by luthers teaching on the subject. doesn't Trent say Adam was created without concupiscence, but because of his fall we all inherit it. And that through Baptism all the effect of original sin is removed, except we still suffer concupiscense and bodily death, which are the result of original sin. and eventhough we still have concupescense we can overcome it because we now have Grace.
    I assume another difference between catholic and luthers teaching is catholics don't believe concupiscence is sin, although it often leads to it.

    I assume although Jesus was constantly tempted he did not suffer from concupiscence because he had no original sin?

  2. Jesus also said "Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom of God before you." I would really like to hear a homily on this scripture verse.

    I respectfully disagree with your interpretation of Sunday's scriptures from the Letter to the Hebrews 4:14-16. It clearly states we do not have a high priest who is unable to 'sympathize' with our weaknesses. Christ can sympathize with our weaknesses, even if he himself was without sin. He understands our weaknesses and how easy it is to fall into sin, just like he knew ahead of time that Saint Peter would betray him. He never said a word to Saint Peter about denying him 3 times, after his resurrection, but He did give him the opportunity to counter his sin 3 times with statements of his love for Jesus. Jesus took it a step further from just 'sympathizing' with Saint Peter's failures, he also gave Peter the chance to make it up to him. But, then, Jesus took it even further than Peter could have possibly imagined....Jesus built his church upon a man who sinned against him three times. A man who once said "depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man".

    The point isn't the sin, the point is that Jesus himself was merciful toward sinners, gave them the opportunity to set things right again and also gave them his confidence in them, in spite of their sins that they were good people.

    Saint Peter, Mary Magdelan and Saint Paul are perfect examples of Christ's compassion and confidence in sinners and their ability to serve him, despite their human weaknesses.

    1. I'm not sure what you are saying. I said that we have someone able to sympathize in every way with our weakness and that he had nothing special to turn to that we don't have access to that helped him avoid sin. Everything that Christ utilized to avoid sin we have access to as well

  3. Thank you very much for your response and for clarifying your point of view, Father John. I just have a much different point of view from the focus of your homily.

    A lot of people are overly scrupulous about sin and feel like other people expect them to be perfect and when they do not live up to their expectations, they feel like a failure or they are not "good enough". It can cause long term issues with self esteem. Setting expectations that are too high can in the long run, cause a lot of damage, especially in young people, but many adults carry these issues well into their adult lives too.

    My point, respectfully intended, is that Christ did not expect perfection, or for us to try and be as perfect as him. I believe quite the opposite, that Christ accepted us and loved us just as we are, understanding our human weaknesses, but yes, also encouraging us to sin no more.

    Jesus had enough confidence in Saint Peter, with all of his sins, weaknesses and character flaws, to found the entire Catholic Church upon him. He did that because Saint Peter truly loved him, in spite of his many flaws. But, by Jesus doing this he also taught us that he did not expect perfection from any of us. He does expect us to love him and one another though.

    A squeeky clean soul does not necessarily mean we have a big heart. The parable of the two debtors illustrates that one who sins little and is forgiven also loves little, but the one who sinned greatly, but is forgiven, also loves greatly.

    I respectfully, feel that love is the point of Christ's message, not spiritual perfection.