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August 13, 2023: 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

A man at my parish was struggling to overcome a habitual sin. He said to me, “Father, I know the chance that I will commit sin again is really high. Why should I keep confessing my sins? Isn’t that dishonest?” Anyone who has felt the tyrannical power of sin — and who hasn’t? — has pondered this kind of question.

I responded to him, “What was the probability Peter would walk on the stormy water?” After some silence, he said, “Zero. But when Jesus called, he did it.” I could tell my penitent friend was re-framing the question from his own weakness to the greatness of the Lord’s love for him. The question for us should not be one of human probabilities about our sin, but rather whether or not we will trust the Lord’s grace in our lives.

This week the Lord is calling you and me to do the impossible: overcome sin with love. The only way to do that is to trust he is calling, and then to walk with the eyes of faith locked on him. And if we sink, he will raise us up again and again. Of that, we can be 100% sure.

— Father John Muir



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