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Saturday, March 6, 1999

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Micah 7:14-15, 18-20
Psalm 103
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

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why god's forgiveness is not unjust

"The son grew angry at this and would not go in; but his father came out and began to plead with him." —Luke 15:28

Many non-Christians, such as a billion Muslims and a billion and a half Chinese Communists, do not agree with the message of the parable of the prodigal son. Rather, they agree with the older brother of the prodigal son that to forgive sinners is to condone and perpetuate evil. Many non-Christians see forgiveness as co-dependency which enables sinners to refuse to take responsibility for their actions. They see forgiveness as injustice toward the victims of sinners.

However, the Lord in His mercy not only loves, forgives, gifts, and honors sinners. In His justice, He also hates sin. The Lord violently expresses His anger against sin by "treading underfoot our guilt" (Mi 7:19) and casting "into the depths of the sea all our sins" (Mi 7:19). The Lord stomps on sin and drowns it on the ocean floor.

Therefore, the Lord's forgiveness is not unjust. His tender, merciful love for the sinner is the reason for His violent attack on sin and its roots. On the cross, Jesus loved sinners in such a perfect way that He hated and destroyed sin and the devil's works (see 1 Jn 3:8). Like the Lord, love and forgive sinners so as to hate and destroy sin.

Prayer:  Father, may I want to fight against sin "to the point of shedding" my own blood (Heb 12:4).

Promise:  "Show us wonderful signs." —Mi 7:15

Praise:  Theresa found a lost coin and, remembering the woman in Jesus' parable (see Lk 15:8-9), rejoiced in all the Lord had given her.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our pamphlets, Unforgiveness is the Cause, 14 Questions on Forgiveness, and The Book on Forgiveness.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 23, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 1998