Friday, January 11, 2013

Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom

“I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him.”  - C.S. Lewis

 (Gospel text: Lk 5:12-16)
It happened that there was a man full of leprosy
in one of the towns where Jesus was;
and when he saw Jesus,
he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said,
“Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”
Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said,
“I do will it. Be made clean.”
And the leprosy left him immediately.
Then he ordered him not to tell anyone, but
“Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing
what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”
The report about him spread all the more,
and great crowds assembled to listen to him
and to be cured of their ailments,
but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray.

What should we do to be cleaned?

Sometimes we want something much bigger, something immediate and powerful that heals us in an instant.

It’s easy to hear again and again in church about repentance and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and to sigh, “Yes, I’ve heard that before!”  It’s pretty mundane.  It’s not that impressive.  And because it’s so familiar, we can think it’s not going to make any difference. 

But challenge yourself! - Living life without forgiveness is like drinking poison.

St. Jerome expressed the same idea centuries ago when he asked, “How can a sick person expect to be healed if he is too ashamed to show his wound to the doctor?”

Some years back, a Jewish psychologist remarked, “Over the last few decades, as the line of Catholics waiting at the confessional has decreased, the number of my clients has exponentially increased.”

When was the last time we went to confession?

Six months ago? Six years? Not since our first Holy Communion? Don’t we realize that God loves us—not so much because we’ve been good, but because we need Him?

“There is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.”(LK 15:7)

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