"Please, therefore, forgive the crime that we, the servants of your father's God, committed." —Genesis 50:17
After their father Jacob died, Joseph's brothers asked Joseph to forgive them. He had already forgiven them over seventeen years before, but they didn't believe it. Many Christians do the same thing when they again ask God to forgive them days, months, or years after they have already asked His forgiveness in Confession. They apparently must not believe that God has forgiven them. Although God, the Church, the Bible, and the priest in Confession all say they are forgiven, they don't believe it. They become victims of false guilt.
When we repent, all heaven rejoices (see Lk 15:7). The Lord wants us to join in the celebration on our behalf. He not only wants us to be forgiven, but also to feel forgiven — to enjoy and rejoice in the forgiveness He has made possible by His death on Calvary.
When Joseph was asked a second time by his brothers for forgiveness, he cried (Gn 50:17). The Lord is also saddened when we doubt His forgiveness and thereby deprive ourselves of the joy of being freed from sin. So believe in and rejoice in being forgiven. Thank the Lord and tell the world you are freed, forgiven, and loved.
Prayer: Father, may I know by faith that I am forgiven of all the sins I have confessed, even the sexual sins.
Promise: "As for you, every hair of your head has been counted; so do not be afraid of anything." —Mt 10:30-31
Praise: St. Henry was able to integrate his holiness into his political life. He promoted religious worship and built churches "that the sacrifice of salvation may be offered constantly for all the faithful."
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Guilt, Guilt-Trips, and Scrupulosity or our audio tape AV 105-1 or video V-105.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 18, 2013
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