[Jesus] breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.” (Jn 20:22-23)
Today is Mercy Sunday. We celebrate the boundless mercy and forgiveness of our God.
Sometimes, we overlook the most wonderful of gifts.
Certainly, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is a wondrous gift. After His resurrection, Jesus empowered the Apostles to forgive sins in His name. That authority has been handed down among the apostles and disciples through the ages and is given to us, still, this day. Whenever we go to confession, we hear the beautiful words of absolution and we know that our sins are forgiven.
God is pure love.
That is why He forgives our sins.
God does so because He does not desire any of us to be lost. No. He wants us to have every opportunity possible to return to Him at the end of our days on earth. Because of this, He freely forgives us whenever we come to Him contrite for our sins.
This really is a beautiful — and other-worldly — gift.
It is not a part of our human nature, it would seem, to freely forgive. Oh, we might find it in our hearts to forgive some people. However, that forgiveness often comes with strings attached.
In this, God proves His love. He forgives us completely and unconditionally. There are no strings attached to the forgiveness that comes to us from God. He forgives and forgets. We get to start over with a clean slate.
FAITH ACTION: As you take time to pray today, thank God for the gift of His Son and for His Son’s mercy.