Sunday Gospel reflections: It’s good news that we’re all sinners!

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Photo: ravipat/Shutterstock

One of the most frequent objections I heard to the new translation of the Roman Missal concerned the re-insertion into the penitential act of the phrase “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.”

“Who do they think we are?” the objectors grumbled.

The short answer is “sinners.”

“I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and what I have failed to do.”

Look around our world: There’s lots of evidence of human sinfulness. Each of us knows that sometimes it’s my fault; sometimes it’s our fault; and sometimes it’s not our fault, but we are all in this together. We all bear the consequences of each other’s sins, whether the “other” is perpetrating ethnic cleansing on the other side of the world, or abusing a child or spouse in the apartment down the hall, or tweeting the latest gossip, or looking the other way instead of recognizing the face of Christ in one of the least.

“God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity.”

The problem with this stance is that I am like them. I might wish I weren’t, but the truth is, we’re all sinners. We tell this truth at the beginning of our celebration and we tell another, bigger truth: God in Christ has offered mercy to all of us. In whatever words, that’s worth celebrating.

 — Bernadette Gasslein


Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18

Psalm 34:2-3, 17-18, 19, 23

2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18

Luke 18:9-14

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