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Thursday, July 4, 1996

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St. Elizabeth of Portugal

Amos 7:10-17
Psalm 19
Matthew 9:1-8

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authority to forgive sins

"To help you realize that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins..." — Matthew 9:6

We will be persecuted as Jesus was (Mt 9:3), if we proclaim that Jesus has authority on earth to forgive sins.

Over two-thirds of the world — about four billion people — don't believe Jesus is God. Therefore, they don't believe Jesus has the authority to forgive sins, for only God can forgive sins. Because we love people, we are obligated to proclaim Jesus' divinity and authority to those who don't believe in it. This causes conflict and often persecution.

Many people in our secular humanistic society don't want to even entertain the thought of the reality of sin. They are threatened when we love them enough to bring up sin. This results in repentance or persecution.

Jesus has decided to give the Church and her ministers a share in His ministry of forgiveness (Jn 20:23). Many Christians don't know this or refuse to accept Jesus' delegation of His authority to the Church. This results in the persecution by some members of the Church of those in the Church who recognize the Church as God's minister of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18).

Nonetheless, we should:

  • proclaim Jesus is God and has authority to forgive sins,
  • maintain there is such a thing as sin, and
  • go to Confession and invite others to join us.

Then we should get ready for repentance, conversion, rejection, persecution, and war with the devil.

Prayer:  Father, on this Independence Day, may I repent, be forgiven by You, and lead this country to repentance and salvation.

Promise:  "Go, prophesy to My people Israel. Now hear the word of the Lord!" —Am 7:15- 16

Praise:  Elizabeth forgave her unfaithful husband and saw him repent and die faith-filled.

Reference:  (In the spirit of Independence Day, pray about ordering our booklet, The Truth Will Set You Free.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1995

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 4, 1995