Living in the Light


By Philip Yuson

“This is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that GOD is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and don't tell the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we haven't sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:5-10)

The message that we heard is that GOD is light and in Him, there is no darkness. The darkness St. John refers to here is the darkness of sin. If one says that he lives in GOD, but is living in sin, then according to St. John, that person is a liar. What does living in sin mean?

Living in sin is being controlled by habitual sin and saying that one has no desire to repent. However, if we confess our sins, GOD is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and He cleanses us from all sin.

This does not mean that one will not sin. Our human nature prevents that from happening. Living in GOD means that one lives a life of repentance - it is a life where one is aware of sin and truly repents when one is made aware of that sin.

I used to believe that Confession is just a matter of telling my sins to the priest and all is forgiven and I could go back to living my life of sin. However, as I got to know about my faith, I realized that this is not the case.
Confession is the outward sign of an internal repentance. Repentance really is making a decision to break from the sin that holds me and to struggle and live my life for GOD. It is choosing GOD over my sinfulness. It is choosing GOD over my ideas. In short, it is choosing GOD over all other things.

When we repent and confess our sins, GOD is faithful and He will forgive. GOD can forgive any sin - no matter how grave they are, because GOD is greater than any sin. The Psalmist says,
“as far as the east is from the west, you have thrown away my sin”. The question is: do you believe this?

Some people ask me if GOD can forgive them for what they have done. I always tell them, of course! These people would not ask forgiveness because of fear or shame. But GOD's love is so great that He forgives any sin - as long as one has truly repented of it. GOD's plan is for everyone to live with Him - as His children. That was why He created humanity in His image.

Living in GOD then is not a matter of rituals or obeying the Law. Living in GOD is loving Jesus. Pope Benedict XVI said in his first encyclical that being a Christian
"is an experience of a person and an event". This person is Jesus and the event is the entire life of Jesus on earth from His incarnation to His ascension. To experience Jesus, one must come to Him in humility and trust. Without these, one cannot experience Jesus. It is this experience of Jesus that moves one to love Him and therefore to choose Him over all.

May we be able to see Jesus in all that we do and in all that happens to us.

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