Thursday of Easter III – I John 3:1-7

1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.

I have heard that it takes 10,000 repetitions to master truly a physical act like swinging a bat or a golf club. What is more, your 10,000 swings must be in good form. You might be reinforcing a mistake if you do not pay attention to way you do these repetitions. John writes in the second paragraph above about practice, an ongoing doing of something.

Really, this is about the goal of what we are doing. Are we aiming at heaven or something else? John is not saying that you must be perfect in this. Anyone who has taken up a new sport or a new skill knows that early attempts are not pretty. Even experienced golfers can fight a hook or a slice. That is why we practice. John is more interested in the goal of our practicing. We will sin. He knows that. But do we make it our practice? Or is our sin the problem we are trying to eliminate from our lives? Are we practicing righteousness? These goals are important.

Because the goals are important, so too is the first paragraph of this reading. We are already God’s children. Our true nature is not yet visible, in fact, it is likely buried under an old and sinful nature. The one whose hope is in the One who appears and reveals our true selves, that one purifies himself. You will not always be able to control your impulses, desires, and feelings of your heart. Try. You can get better at this. But know that the One who has already laid claim to you in baptism is working through your hopeful faith in Him. He imparts his purity to you today. He works toward that purity in every facet of your life. Time to practice.

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