God’s Gift of Forgiveness

A Pastoral Exhortation on the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ:

 “Peace be with you!” With these words, the Risen Lord greeted his frightened Apostles in the Upper Room on the day of His Resurrection. They were troubled, anxious, and fearful-much like each one of us at some point in our lives. Christ repeated these words, “Peace be with you.” But then He added, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them.” (Jn 20:19-23)

What an extraordinary gift! The Risen Lord was proclaiming that all suffering he had just endured was in order to make available the gifts of salvation and forgiveness. He wanted the Apostles to receive these gifts. He wanted them to become apostles of this forgiveness to others…Read more