Your sins are forgiven

Published June 30, 2022, 12:05 AM

by Manila Bulletin


GOSPEL • Matthew 9:1-8

Jesus surprises those around him, including some scribes, by declaring to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven.” The scribes may hold that there are prophets and “holy men” with the power to cure sickness, but to forgive a person his or her sins is something else: forgiveness belongs to God alone! And so they say of Jesus, “This man is blaspheming.” — that is, he is usurping the power that belongs to God alone. To declare that one has power to forgive sins cannot be verified, for the health of the soul is not made visible. It is “easy” to say that to someone. But the “more difficult” thing to do is to say, “Rise and walk,” and make it happen. In this case, Jesus proves his power to forgive sins by curing the paralytic which is for everyone to see. If his word is effective in the case of physical illness, his claim to have power on earth to forgive sins is likewise true.

The Church is given by Christ the power to forgive sins. Simon Peter was granted the power to “bind and to loose” (Mt 16:19). In the evening of his resurrection, the risen Lord appeared to his disciples, breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (Jn 20:22-23). Forgiveness of sin is done through the sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession), and the Church will always defend the sacredness of the seal or secret of confession against any move by the State to break it, even in the case of the sin of child abuse.

Source: “365 Days with the Lord 2022,” St. Pauls, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: