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Tuesday, March 21, 2000

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Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
Psalm 50
Matthew 23:1-12

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red alert!

"Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord: though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow." —Isaiah 1:18

Although the Lord forgets the sins we have repented of (Ez 18:22), some of these sins, especially sexual sins, seem unforgettable to us. Then, since we haven't forgotten our sins, we don't forgive ourselves. Then we deceive ourselves, eventually hate ourselves, and may feel compelled to destroy ourselves. Consequently, we must repent or die (see Rm 6:23). Also, we must rejoice in being forgiven and our sins forgotten.

If you have repented and confessed your sins (Jas 5:16) but still see your sins as scarlet, indelible stains on your life (Is 1:18):

  • Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal God the Father's love for you (Gal 4:6).
  • Know the Lord's revelation about His forgiveness of our sins as taught by the Church, especially in the Bible. Our ignorance is an opportunity for the evil one (see Hos 4:6).
  • Learn the Bible so as to grow in faith (Rm 10:17).
  • Ask other Christians to pray with you for healing.

The Lord has provided all that is necessary for us to have the assurance and the joy of being forgiven. There is no reason for us to let the devil rob us of the joy of forgiveness. When one sinner repents, the Lord, with all the angels and saints, exclaims: "We had to celebrate and rejoice!" (Lk 15:32; see also Lk 15:7, 10) We must also rejoice.

Prayer:  Father, during this Lent of the year of the Great Jubilee, may my repentance and joy deepen.

Promise:  "Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, but whoever humbles himself shall be exalted." —Mt 23:12

Praise:  When tempted to feel guilty about confessed sins, Sylvia recites a verse from her favorite psalm: "Look to Him that you may be radiant with joy, and your faces may not blush with shame" (Ps 34:6).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, July 28, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 1999