< <  

Sunday, February 22, 2009

  > >

7th Sunday Ordinary Time

Isaiah 43:18-19, 21-22, 24-25
2 Corinthians 1:18-22
Psalm 41
Mark 2:1-12

View Readings
Similar Reflections

the joy of forgiveness

"When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralyzed man, 'My son, your sins are forgiven.' " —Mark 2:5

There is "more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner" (Lk 15:7). The fact that the Lord has forgiven our sins is a great cause of joy for every Christian. The Lord has not only forgiven our sins but also forgotten them (Is 43:25). He has wiped them out (Is 43:25), removed them as far as the east is from the west (Ps 103:12), and drowned them in the depths of the sea (Mi 7:19). All of us would have been damned because of our sins against the all-holy, all-just God, Who is Love Himself. However, by the blood and death of Jesus, we have the opportunity to be forgiven. If we have accepted this opportunity through repentance, Baptism, and Confession, we have reason to rejoice forever.

The Church has taught throughout the centuries: "When Christ's faithful strive to confess all the sins that they can remember, they undoubtedly place all of them before the divine mercy for pardon" (Catechism, 1456). When we go to Confession, the Lord forgives all our sins even if we have accidentally forgotten to confess any of them or have not expressed them well. We are completely forgiven and truly free. We have reason to be full of joy. Let us "celebrate and rejoice" (Lk 15:32) because we who have been dead in sin have come back to life. Alleluia!

Prayer:  Father, may I joyfully invite others to reconciliation (see 2 Cor 5:18).

Promise:  "God is the One Who firmly establishes us along with you in Christ; it is He Who anointed us and has sealed us, thereby depositing the first Payment, the Spirit, in our hearts." —2 Cor 1:21-22

Praise:  Praise the risen Jesus, Whose first act after He rose from the dead was to offer His disciples peace and reconciliation (Jn 20:19, 23). Praise You, Jesus, "rich in mercy" (Eph 2:4).

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 11, 2008

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.