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"Who is this Man Who utters blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?" —Luke 5:21
Jesus always has forgiveness on His mind. The roof literally falls in, but Jesus responds: "My friend, your sins are forgiven you" (Lk 5:20). A man lies before Him paralyzed and Jesus says: "The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins" (Lk 5:24). The apostles ask Jesus to teach them to pray and Jesus replies: "Forgive us the wrong we have done as we forgive those who wrong us" (Mt 6:12). Even while hanging on the cross, among His last words Jesus kept saying: "Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing" (Lk 23:34).
"You can depend on this as worthy of full acceptance: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Tm 1:15). "I tell you, there will likewise be more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent" (Lk 15:7). Jesus is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29). He is preoccupied with the forgiveness of sin.
If we ask Jesus about our Christmas presents, He'll offer to forgive our sins. If we complain about our troubles, He'll call us to Confession. If we blame our spouse for something, Jesus will talk to us about the plank in our own eye (Mt 7:3). When Jesus thinks of Christmas, He thinks of the forgiveness of sins through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Go to Confession. Give Jesus the Christmas present of your repentance.
Prayer: Jesus, baptize me in repentance. Send the Spirit to search my heart. May I repent on the deepest level.
Promise: "They will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee." —Is 35:10
Praise: St. Ambrose brought St. Augustine to God, who eventually brought countless others to the Lord.
Reference: (Our Discipleship Retreats equip you with the spiritual food for life's journey. Check www.presentationministries.com or call (937) 587-5464 or (513) 373-2397 for more information.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2015
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