And yet, out of that moment of truth, God missions them to be his messengers. It's counter intuitive from our perspective, because down deep most of us believe most of the time that sinners don't belong here, that our Church is meant to be somehow separate from all that. Much as though we read that Jesus ate with prostitutes, Pharisees and tax collectors (aka thieves), our image of the Church is vastly different.
What the Scriptures indicate instead is that being a Christian means knowing that on some level you're actually kind of monstrous -- and so is everybody else. Our community has more in common with the inmates of a prison than it does with the shiny, happy etheria we tend to imagine as Heaven. (Think about that for a moment...)
St. Ignatius puts it this way: to be a Christian is "to know you are a sinner and yet loved by God."
It's an interesting set of readings in light of the situation in Los Angeles the last few weeks, and the church in the world more generally. We fight tooth and nail to bury the bad choices that were made, the hiding or protecting of abusive priests and others, obscure our decisions behind lawyers and power and blacked out names. And while it is appalling, it has a sense to it, too, it's the instinct to protect an institution from complete collapse (even if past choices really demand that).
But according to Scripture that desire to hide and to preserve is actually an obstacle not only to our integrity as an institution but to our vocation as a community of faith. We are Christians insofar as we face our sinfulness, not bury it away.