“God forgives but requires humans to forgive their neighbour”


 

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Confessions

(©Ansa)

(©Ansa) Confessions

The Pope said this at this morning’s mass in St. Martha’s House. He added that forgiveness must be sincere, it does not mean “apologising for a mistake but being aware of sin and of idolatry”

Domenico Agasso jr Taken from Vatican Insider
RomeIn the homily he delivered at this morning’s mass in St. Martha’s House Pope Francis explained the difference between asking for “forgiveness” and “apologising”.

 

In order to ask the Lord for forgiveness a person must act as is written in the “Our Father”: repent of their sins with sincerity in the knowledge that God forgives always and forgive others with equal generosity and joy.

 

A closed heart can in a way also block God’s omnipotence. A closed heart is a heart that does not know forgiveness and is not willing to give it. Today the Pope concentrated on the Gospel story which recounts how Christ explains to Peter that we must forgive “seventy times seven”, that is, “always”, stressing that the forgiveness the Lord God grants men and the forgiveness people grant their neighbours are closely linked.

 

It all starts with how one presents oneself to God to ask for forgiveness. Citing the day’s Reading, in which the prophet Azariah asks for mercy for his people who are suffering but are also guilty of “abandoning the Lord’s law”. Azariah, Francis highlighted, “does not complain to God” about this suffering but admits the mistakes the people have made and “repents: asking for forgiveness is different, it is not the same as apologising. I made a mistake? Sorry, I made a mistake… I sinned! They are two completely different things. Sin isn’t a simple mistake. Sin is idolatry, it is worshiping idols, the idol of pride, of vanity, of money, of oneself, of wellbeing… We have so many idols. And so Azariah does not apologise, he asks for forgiveness.”

 

But this request for forgiveness must be sincere, it must come from the bottom of the heart and at the same time it must be given. Just as the master does in the parable told by the Son of God, the master forgives and cancels a servant’s debt after the latter’s entreaties. But the servant does not do the same with another fellow servant who owes him money: he shows no mercy and allows his to be sent to prison despite the trivial sum he owed.

 

Forgiveness, Francis underlined, is that which the Lord teaches in the “Our Father: Jesus teaches us to pray to the Father in this way: “Forgive us our debt as we forgive our debtors” If I am not able to forgive, then I am not able to ask for forgiveness. ‘But, Father, I confess, I go to confession ….’. ‘And what do you do before you confess?’ ‘Well, I think of the things I did wrong.’ ‘Alright’ ‘Then I ask the Lord for forgiveness and promise not to do those things again.’ ‘Okay…and then go to the priest? Before you do, however, you’re missing something: have you forgiven those who have hurt you?’”

 

Basically, Francis summed up: the forgiveness God will give you requires the forgiveness that you give to others: “This is what Jesus teaches us about forgiveness: first, asking forgiveness is not a simple apology, it is to be aware of the sin, of the idolatry that I have committed, of the many idolatries; second, God always forgives, always – but He asks me to forgive [others]. If I do not forgive, in a sense, I close the door to God’s forgiveness. ‘Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.’”

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About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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2 Responses to “God forgives but requires humans to forgive their neighbour”

  1. I really wonder how many actually go to ” CONFESSION ” — the nomenclatures keep changing — at one time it was called ” confession” — the SACRAMENT of Penance — then it got tweaked around to be something else — now it is called — I think the sacrament of RECONCILIATION —
    The main point seems to be — can we really see JESUS and HIS infinite compassion– mercy and forgiveness in the guy sitting in the confessional ???? when we know very well that he himself is a fornicator — thief and lots of other transgressions ????
    Asking GOD to forgive for our wrongdoings is something very personal between OUR GOD and ourselves !!!!
    Forgive me FATHER — I am a sinner BUT YOU LOVE ME !!!!!!

  2. Fergus I fully agree with you. Confession is a one to one talk with The Lord and asking for forgiveness with a hope that one would try not to offend The Lord and His teachings. I still have just but one question. Can a pastor who has committed the same sin with the person to whom he confesses , absolve him/her of the the sin they committed together?
    No one has yet given me a answer for many years.

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