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Lord, help me to rejoice in Your forgiveness
Friday, 15 January 2021

Friday 15th January 2021
1st Week in Ordinary Time
Heb. 4:1-5,11; Ps. 77:3,4,6,7,8; Mk. 2:1-12 (Ps Wk I)

Although Jesus had full respect for the Law of Moses, his growing reputation constantly brought him into conflicts with the Pharisees, who were experts in the Jewish Law. The cure of the paralytic by Jesus was the cause of one such controversy. It is a controversy based on two crucial points.

Firstly, the Jews believed that only God can forgive sins, while Jesus claimed that he, “the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”. The second point of controversy is that, unlike the Jews, who considered forgiveness of sins as a benefit to be hoped for from God in the future, Jesus was offering forgiveness of sins in the here and now on earth.

Jesus’ claim to be able to forgive sins was considered a blasphemy by the Jews and caused much offence to them. The Jews failed to realise that Jesus was no ordinary man. They did not recognise that he was the Saviour and that with him, the reign of God’s Kingdom - the era of God’s forgiveness - has already begun. With Jesus, forgiveness was not something to be hoped for in the future, but a gift given to humanity in the present.

The Church’s belief that forgiveness is given, when one repents and seeks forgiveness from God, is based on the fact that she shares in the authority given to her by Jesus himself. As such, one of the most precious gifts given by Christ to the Church is the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is an outward sign that God’s forgiveness is available to us in the present when we are willing to turn away from sin and seek His mercy.

Lord, help me to rejoice in Your forgiveness.

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