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Friday, January 15, 2016

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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 that there is any such thing as sin. Yet, 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, 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:  Joe admitted he was powerless to break his addiction and prayed for God's intervention. In his weakness, God's freeing power reached perfection, as Jesus broke his chains (2 Cor 12:9).

Reference:  (Jesus feeds us with His Body, Word and Spirit through our retreat The Joy of Living in the Spirit, Feb. 19-20. It will nourish you for a counter-cultural life-style. Call 937-587-5464 or 513-373-2397 to register or for information.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2015

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