I Hate Sin

by Fr. Kieran Kilcommons

I hate sin. This emotion is a recent one. I really hate sin. What has precipitated this vehement movement in my heart?

I hate it that countries, while arming themselves to protect their own interests, minimize the needs of the poor and the vulnerable.

I hate it that women and children, innocent boys and girls, old men and women, are deprived of liberty and food and clothing and loved ones and the freedom to worship, all because of the need to hold on to power and control at all costs. (But I must remember, Christ is Risen.)

I hate it that in the richest societies the world has ever seen, the ones with the most resources the world has ever witnessed, the most vulnerable are dehumanized and destroyed, aborted and euthanized in the name of personal freedom and comfort.

But more truly it impacts me when I look at the face of a penitent, a beautiful penitent, (and who is not beautiful when repentant?), and see shame and feelings of worthlessness—for no reason other than that she has been taught to be ashamed of herself.

Sin stirs my Irish ire when I see a brother putting down another brother or when I see in myself reluctance to share my time with a particular person or when I see lust in myself or someone else. (But I must remember, Christ is Risen.)

I hate the power of sin that abides in the lies in our hearts saying, “I can’t trust,” or “I’m not good enough,” or, “I have no choice but to rely on me.”

Most of all I hate it when I see the beauty of the person before me lost in hurt and pain and neglect and self-condemnation, which is not from Christ. (Christ is Risen!)

But more than hating sin, I love my Lord Jesus Christ, who came to conquer death. (Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!)

More than all this, I hope in Christ, who abides in the hearts of his beloved brothers and sisters, in Christ who makes his beloved brothers and sisters, children of his, of our Papa God.

Going past sin, encompassing it, overriding its effects is the love of Jesus Christ poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!).

Jesus Christ, risen from the dead in his glorified body meets his disciples in Galilee. He meets us, he welcomes us, in that ordinary, messy, humdrum, exciting, everyday place, that place where human beings contend with one another, with themselves, and with the powers of this age.

I love it when the Galilean Sleeper wakes from the dead and we see Christ. I love it when the unbeliever awakes and sees that Jesus is right there walking with her. I can’t keep from wriggling with joy when the believer’s eyes open, and he really sees that Christ has taken away his sin.

Here is cause for rejoicing: I am in awe at the magnificence of God’s dealing with us. We set guards at our personal tombs as if to say, “None shall pass. Death is our domain. We are content with how things are—with the status quo, with persons being high and low, and so forth.”

But … (Let us remember: Christ is Risen!) God is not outdone in generosity or in power. He sets his guard at the entrance. With Christ’s angel present, our guard is down, literally down, pale, incapable, fearful, like a dead man.

Here is the real power of the Resurrection. Who can stand before this transforming power and not be transformed? Who is not galvanized by this radiance? Filled with awe and great joy, the women came quickly away from the tomb and ran to tell his disciples (Mt 28:8).

What can we do? Receive the women’s message, believe the angel’s proclamation, “He is Risen! and trust that we will meet him each day, in Galilee.

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!