A golden abstract artwork of the Jesus

2023 Daily Lenten Journey – Day 24

Many do not know the original practice of Holy Confession was public in the Church. That meant that people would publicly admit to each other their sins. This was important because of our union in the Church. When we sin, we bring sin into the body of the Church.

Of course, pretty quickly this practice was forced to change as we could not handle the knowledge of each other’s sins. Now thankfully, the priest hears our confession on behalf of the Church. As fallen human beings, we are preoccupied with the sins of others. Some things never change.

The sons of Noah who went forth from the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham was the father of Canaan.  These three were the sons of Noah; and from these the whole earth was peopled. Noah was the first tiller of the soil. He planted a vineyard; and he drank of the wine, and became drunk, and lay uncovered in his tent.  And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside.  Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it upon both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.  When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him, he said, “Cursed be Canaan; a slave of slaves shall he be to his brothers.”  He also said, “Blessed by the LORD my God be Shem; and let Canaan be his slave.  God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem; and let Canaan be his slave.”  After the flood Noah lived three hundred and fifty years.  All the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years; and he died.  These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth; sons were born to them after the flood.

Genesis 9:18-10:1

When Canaan, the youngest son of Noah, saw his father’s drunk and naked body he did nothing to protect his father’s dignity. He could have covered his father, but instead he told his brothers. The way the story is told, he didn’t even help his brothers cover their father. The result was, he was cursed by his father.

So, here we are working to grow closer to Christ during Great Lent. We admit our sins in Holy Confession. Thankfully, since we have proven we can’t be trusted with the knowledge of the sins of others, our sins are kept private by the priest. Don’t be afraid. Confess your sins anyway.

It is better to be forgiven than to worry about who knows what. If you do find yourself with knowledge of the sins of others, don’t be like Canaan. Don’t spread the word. Help others rebuild their dignity.

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