We are fighting a battle, or rather a war against an invisible enemy. We are all aware of this. This enemy wants to destroy you and your family. It causes us to change the way we live. We are changing the way we think and relate to others. It affects the things we do and don’t do. We are doing radical things to fight this enemy. We are doing whatever it takes to defeat this invisible enemy of ours. And of course we all know this invisible enemy is…sin.
We are trying or we should be seeking to root sin out of our lives. We should be doing crazy radical things in order to purge sin from our lives. Jesus says, “don’t worry about those who can destroy the body but not the soul. Rather worry about the one who can destroy both the body and soul in Ghenna.”
It’s interesting the parallels between this virus pandemic and the reality of sin. If only the world took the fight against sin as seriously as it does the fight against this virus.
Consider or imagine if we had the same attitude towards sin. We would have banned pornography. Planned Parenthood would have shuttered their doors by now. But instead while everything else is shut down, abortion still kills thousands more every day than the virus does. If we had the same attitude to sin as we do this virus, we wouldn’t allow our children to be corrupted by Drag Queen story time at the Public Library. We wouldn’t allow boys identifying as girls to trample on a girl’s right to privacy in the girl’s bathroom. Some families have locked their houses up like Fort Knox afraid that the virus will get them, yet allow their kids unfettered access to the internet. The average age of first-time exposure to pornography is eleven years old. This goes on to wreak havoc on their lives. I hear it in the confessional. And it’s not their fault. We didn’t protect them. Smart phones are destroying our kids. If only we were as concerned about how sin can harm us as much as we are about this virus.
It’s amazing what we are doing to fight this virus, basically shutting down the world, when as society we think nothing of the sin and evil we allow and even celebrate.
But the line between good and evil isn’t just out there in the world. The line between good and evil is down the middle of our hearts. The bad stuff in the world comes from the bad stuff within our hearts. Jesus said, “Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile…From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile” (Mk 7:15-23). Our rebellious ego and pride saying we know more than God. Refusing to submit to him. Our disordered passions that we allow to go unchecked.
When it comes to the battle against sin it’s do or die. There is one victor. You or sin. The evil one is playing for keeps whether you know it or not. He doesn’t want you to know you are in a battle. He doesn’t care if it is fair fight. He just wants to destroy you and your loved ones. So we either destroy, kill, root out sin in our life, or it will destroy us. There is no truce with sin.
But Jesus is here to help. Jesus wants to do the dirty work. We can only do this with Jesus. Jesus, told them to roll away the stone from the tomb. He says that to each of us today, “Roll away the stone from your heart and soul. I’m coming in. Let me in.” They told him that Lazarus has been dead for four days, there will be a stench. We say, “It’s been too long Jesus, I’m too embarrassed. It’s been too long since my last confession. I’m too attached or even addicted to this sin. Don’t come in here, it’s too late. It stinks too much.” Jesus says, Did I not tell you, that if you believe you will see the glory of God?”
Jesus isn’t afraid of the mess, the stink, the sin in your heart. He ain’t scared. He wants to come to you in your stench and call you out of spiritual death and bring you back to life. And He can do that!
Some of us are walking around like zombies. We look fine on the outside, but we are spiritually dead inside. We are like Lazarus, dead. And Jesus wants to bring us back to life. He is calling us out of our tombs. “Lazarus come out!” Imagine if Lazarus just stayed in the tomb. Imagine if instead of coming out, Jesus heard Lazarus from the tomb say, “No, I’m fine in here. It’s kind of cozy. It’s not much, but it’s home.” We think we are okay, we get used to the guilt and shame we have and we are afraid to come out to the light. We are afraid of being restored to life.
Really the only Sacrament available to you all right now is the Sacrament of Confession. Priests are going crazy making this sacrament available. One good priest friend from New Jersey went to Home Depot and got one of those plastic prefabricated sheds. He is sitting in it outside to hear confessions. Others have set up drive up confessions. Make use of this great Sacrament. Go to Confession before Easter. We have confessions two hours a day at our parishes.
My friends, people are terrified of this virus. They will do anything to keep themselves and their loved ones safe and healthy. Let’s not live and act like those who have no hope. It’s okay to be afraid, but don’t let fear rule you, and control you. Christ still desires your peace. Rather let’s transfer that energy and effort towards rooting sin out of our hearts. Let’s have a healthy fear of the Lord. Let’s fear offending God. If you are stuck in serious sin, spiritually dead, repent and let God into the stench of your sin and allow him to give you life again. Please God, you are not mired deep in sin. Seek to root out those smaller sins. Fight those disordered attachments to the things of the world. Jesus wants to go there too, to bring you even more freedom. “Lazarus come out of that tomb!” My friends, come out of your tombs!