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Friday, January 14, 2000

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1 Samuel 8:4-7, 10-22
Psalm 89:16-19
Mark 2:1-12

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"Who can forgive sins except God alone?" —Mark 2:7

When Jesus saw a paralyzed man being lowered on a stretcher through a hole in the roof, He said: "My son, your sins are forgiven" (Mk 2:5). Jesus miraculously and instantaneously healed the paralytic to show that He "has authority on earth to forgive sins" (Mk 2:10). When Jesus was criticized for eating with Levi and his friends, Jesus stated: "I have come to call sinners" (Mk 2:17). John the Baptizer introduced Jesus as "the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world" (Jn 1:29). Paul exclaimed: "You can depend on this as worthy of full acceptance: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Tm 1:15). John proclaimed that Jesus "is an Offering for our sins, and not for our sins only, but for those of the whole world" (1 Jn 2:2). It is obvious that the essence of Jesus' mission is to forgive our sins.

One of the natural effects of sin is denial. We deny that our sins are serious, that we are guilty, and eventually even that there is any such thing as sin. But when we deny sin, we deny the need for Jesus. In effect, we deny Jesus' divinity, because the taking away of the sins of the world could have been done only by God Himself.

Only sinners need a Savior. Let us ask the Lord for the miracle of admitting our sins rather than denying them. Then we will be eternally grateful to Jesus, Savior, Lord, and God, Who alone frees us from our sins.

Prayer:  Father, in this Jubilee Year, may we repent and lead others to repent to an unprecedented degree.

Promise:  "Happy the people who know the joyful shout; in the light of Your countenance, O Lord, they walk." —Ps 89:16

Praise:  Not having gone to Confession in twenty years, Sally confessed a long-time bitterness toward the Church and was instantly healed of it.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 21, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1999