Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus died for our sins. If we had not sinned, there would have been no need for Jesus’ sacrificial death on Calvary in atonement for our sins. In other words, when we commit sexual sin, gossip, eat too much, refuse to evangelize, or don’t forgive, we are directly involved in Jesus’ passion and death (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, 598).

All Christians accept the fact that our sins and Jesus’ death are related, but for many this is only an idea or theological abstract. The Holy Spirit, however, will change that by convicting us of our sins (Jn 16:8) and taking us to the cross. Here we will experience deeply how our sins wounded Jesus even to death. The sins of the world will no longer amuse or entertain us (see Prv 10:23). We will be crucified to the world and the world to us (Gal 6:14).

This personal experience of the cross is not necessarily a mystical experience. The Holy Spirit may merely give us insight into the harm of subtle influences on our lives. The result of this will be a profound alienation from the sinful ways of the world. We will intensely hate sin (see Sir 17:21) and love sinners, as the Lord does.