“When all is said and done, the life of faith is nothing if not an unending struggle of the spirit with every available weapon against the flesh.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
Gospel Text: (1 JN 2:29–3:6)
If you consider that God is righteous,
you also know that everyone who acts in righteousness
is begotten by him.
See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God's children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure,
as he is pure.
Everyone who commits sin commits lawlessness,
for sin is lawlessness.
You know that he was revealed to take away sins,
and in him there is no sin.
No one who remains in him sins;
no one who sins has seen him or known him.
This first reading from Mass points out that those who belong to God, base their actions on righteousness, and those who don't know him, choose lifestyles of sin.
How well do you and I really know God? Consider the sins you've already overcome. How did you stop being vulnerable to this particular temptation? If you remember it well enough to analyze it, you'll notice that you learned something about God that rendered the temptation powerless.
We will never fully know God on this side of the gate to heaven. When we sin, despite a genuine desire to be holy, it's because there's something we still need to learn about how good God is and how helpful he wants to be.