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Sunday, February 23, 2003

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7th Sunday Ordinary Time

Isaiah 43:18-19, 21-22, 24-25
2 Corinthians 1:18-22
Psalm 41
Mark 2:1-12

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the joy of forgiveness

"When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralyzed man, 'My son, your sins are forgiven.' " —Mark 2:5

There is "more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner" (Lk 15:7). The fact that the Lord has forgiven our sins is a great cause of joy for every Christian. The Lord has not only forgiven our sins but also forgotten them (Is 43:25). He has wiped them out (Is 43:25), removed them as far as the east is from the west (Ps 103:12), and drowned them in the depths of the sea (Mi 7:19). All of us would have been damned because of our sins against the all-holy, all-just God, Who is Love Himself. But by the blood and death of Jesus, we have the opportunity to be forgiven. If we have accepted this opportunity through repentance, Baptism, and Confession, we have reason to rejoice forever.

The Church has taught throughout the centuries: "When Christ's faithful strive to confess all the sins that they can remember, they undoubtedly place all of them before the divine mercy for pardon" (Catechism, 1456). When we go to Confession, the Lord forgives all our sins even if we have accidentally forgotten to confess any of them or have not expressed them well. We are completely forgiven and truly free. We have reason to be full of joy. Let us "celebrate and rejoice" (Lk 15:32) because we who have been dead in sin have come back to life. Alleluia!

Prayer:  Father, may I joyfully invite others to reconciliation (see 2 Cor 5:18).

Promise:  "God is the One Who firmly establishes us along with you in Christ; it is He Who anointed us and has sealed us, thereby depositing the first Payment, the Spirit, in our hearts." —2 Cor 1:21-22

Praise:  Praise the blood of Jesus, our risen Lord!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Reconciliation on audio AV 47-3 or video V-47.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 1, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 7, 2002