Wednesday, November 12, 2014

New Evangelizers Post: Infectious Sin

I have a new article up at

We had an Ebola scare in my region of the country.  Before all of the facts were out, there was a lot of confusion and nervous laughter as people joked about the disease all the while masking their fear.

I asked my students to imagine that someone in our class came down with Ebola and the entire school was dismissed so that it could be decontaminated.  I again asked them to imagine returning to my classroom and asking if the room had been cleaned and I had told them, “It has been 98% cleaned!”
What do you think their reaction was?  What would your reaction be?

Most of my students said that they would refuse to enter, even with only a 2% area of possible contamination.  Why?  Because even the smallest part of the disease could infect and kill.

And the same is true with sin.

In the Bible, God would sometimes put entire populations under the “herem” or “the ban.”  In these cases, the Israelites were commanded to kill all that lived there: men, women, children, and livestock…all of it.  

Why did God order the death off all that lived in those areas?  Because they were infected with deep and pernicious sin.  If these people coexisted with the Israelites, that sin would have infected them and destroyed their spirits.  That is not what might have happened.  It is what didhappen over and over in the Old Testament.  

These passages often give believers a bit of discomfort when reading them.  St. Augustine back in the 4th century was no different.  But it wasn’t until he met St. Ambrose that he was taught to look deeper into the Scripture to find the spiritual message.

In our own lives, we have sin.  Some sin for us is a source of guilt and struggle.  But some sin we excuse and accept.  We wink at our little pet vices.  “Oh, I’m just a creature of habit.”  “Oh, I have a little bit of a temper.”  “Oh, I only get drunk at weddings.”
When Christ came He did so to take away the sins of the world.  All sins. 

We come to the Lord and surrender to Him not just the mortal sins, but all the vices that we carry within our hearts.  It is not enough to only give him the “biggies.”  We have to give over all sin.

Because sin is infectious.  

You can read the entire article here.

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