I do not keep the commandments
I do not keep the commandments. There, I said it. I wish I did. So did Saint Paul. He saw the good he wanted to do but does the thing he does not want to do. Too often in my own life I can say the same.
So am I a liar? Well, yes. I claim to believe in Jesus, but too often instead of doing what he wants me to do, things he knows are for my best, I choose to reject that and sin. So why am I telling you all this? Because the fact I do not keep the commandments is not the entire story.
You see, I would be the most pitiable of persons where it not for God’s mercy and forgiveness. Because of the unbelievable gift of God’s mercy and forgiveness, I can do something when I do not keep the commandments. I can go to confession.
More accurately, my role when I break the commandments is simply to get myself to confession. It is Jesus who does the rest. When Jesus died on the cross for my sins, and for your sins, rather than facing condemnation for not keeping the commandments, I (and you) have been given the hope of salvation.
Anna and Simeon provide us the hope of salvation fulfilled. How beautiful the words of Simeon, whose life has become complete by seeing the Messiah. How beautiful the example of Anna who waited so long for the fulfillment of her faith.
And so, even if you have broken the commandments, let today be a reminder that our joy in the Incarnation of Jesus is precisely because God did not abandon us in our sinfulness, but extended his mercy by offering us salvation.
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