“You know well that if you undertake to be somebody’s slave and obey him, you are the slave of him you obey: you can be the slave either of sin which leads to death, or of obedience which leads to saving justice” (Romans 6:16, NJB).
Every day at work starts the same way. Show up, put on my work boots and safety glasses, and go to my department’s meeting to be assigned my task for the day. At the meeting, I greet my coworkers: Good morning, Wayne. Good morning, Bob. Good morning, Chris… and so on. But there’s one guy to whom it always feels just a little bit awkward to say hello. His name is Sinisa, which is a Serbian name meaning “Dear Son” The problem is that he shortens it to “Sin”–which is “son” in Serbian”–but despite the Serbian meaning of the name, something in this English-speaking Catholic always feels just a little weird being so chummy with Sin.
Saying hello to Sin (my co-worker) every morning, though, does cause me to consider how often, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I do and what I fail to do, I choose to say “hello,” “good morning,” and ultimately “yes” to Sin (not my co-worker).
Unlike Sinisa, sin is never our co-worker. If we choose to participate in it, it becomes our taskmaster, and we its slaves, according to Scripture. And it’s a slavery that leads to death. The good news, of course, is that Jesus has come to redeem us from that slavery so that we can be free to obey Him. And while, yes, as St. Paul explains it, it’s essentially trading slavery to one for slavery to the other, slavery to Christ leads to true freedom, the freedom of sonship and to eternal life! (In other words, when we forsake sin to follow Jesus, we all become “Sinisas”–dear sons and daughters–in the Son!)
If you’ve said yes to sin recently, then renounce that taskmaster and run to Jesus in the Confessional, where He awaits you with open, merciful arms. And if you find yourself frequently tempted to say “Good morning” to sin, then make it a habit to first–and instead–say “Good morning” to Jesus. My wife and I have found it helpful to tuck prayers in the frame of our bathroom mirror so that when we brush our teeth before heading out the door in the morning, we can offer ourselves and our day to Jesus, in order to spend our days as a reflection of Christ’s love.
“With so many witnesses in a great cloud all around us, we too, then, should throw off everything that weighs us down and the sin that clings so closely, and with perseverance keep running in the race which lies ahead of us. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection: for the sake of the joy which lay ahead of him, he endured the cross, disregarding the shame of it, and has taken his seat at the right hand of God’s throne” (Hebrews 12:1-2, NJB).
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