Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned— sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law. Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come.
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many. And the free gift is not like the effect of the one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. If, because of the one man’s trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
“For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so, through the obedience of the one, the many will be made righteous.”
It’s hard to understand the gravity of our personal sinfulness in the scheme of our families, or our work communities, or even when you consider all the badness in the entire world.
Today’s Second Reading is a reminder of just how damaging one sin can be, but also a reminder of the righteousness that we are all capable of spreading through this world. Indeed, it is the simple acts that we do each day that determine what side of the ledger we fall.
Do we greet people we pass in the hall or on the street with a smile?
Do we embrace those most in our need?
Do we treat all persons of God like they are our brother or sister?
This Lenten season, I ask God to help us all to fight the temptations of sinfulness not only in our own lives but by spreading a message of righteousness to all those we encounter.
-Mr. John Penilla ’99 is the Director of Annual Giving at St. Louis U. High.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
—Jesus of Nazareth
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