Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,
“The Lord God is my help; who will prove me wrong?”
In our worldliness, we often forget that there are things more important than life and worse than death. Judas forgot this when he betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. By his sin of betraying Jesus, betraying God, he broke off his relationship with God, which is more important than life itself. This is why Jesus says “It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”
In other words, it is better to die than sin. This is a hard teaching, and we often rationalize our sin by saying things like “my sins aren’t as bad as Judas’, so I am fine.” Yet this fails to recognize that all sin separates us from God. To die, separated from God for all eternity, is a worse fate than anything we can encounter on this earth. For however much pain and suffering or inversely joy and happiness we go through on this Earth, it will end when we die. Eternity will not.
Jesus did not promise us an easy life, in fact he told us to pick up our cross daily and follow him. To follow Jesus is to suffer in this life for the sake of the next. This is evident in the readings from Isaiah and today’s psalm. We must offer up our sufferings to God and trust in God to help us. Yet, while these reading show how we suffer for the sake of the kingdom of God, they also show that while we may suffer and undergo trials, God will be with us.
Lastly, it is good to remember that Judas was not the only apostle to betray Jesus; Peter did as well. Yet after Peter sinned, he repented and turned back to God and became a great saint. If we break our relationship with God through sin, if we are truly sorry for our sins, we can repair it through confession and get a second chance at eternal life with God.
Do I believe it is better to die than sin?
When I sin do I repair my relationship with God as soon as possible?
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne