Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Daily Meditation: 2-22-09

©Word Among Us; Feb 22, 2009

Child, your sins are forgiven. (Mark 2:5)

What an amazing thing to say! It’s one thing for Jesus to assure this paralyzed man that God had forgiven him. But he did it with such affection and kindness. Calling him “child,” or “son,” Jesus established a connection with this fellow that went beyond what you would expect a rabbi to say to a stranger asking for help.

But Jesus was no ordinary rabbi. He had come with a far greater purpose than simply to expound on the Mosaic law or to offer sage advice. He had come to bring humanity back to God, and to do so at the cost of his own life. He had come with a love in his heart so strong that it recognized every member of the human race as his own son or daughter.

On one level, it is not all that earth-shattering for Jesus to assure this fellow that his sins were forgiven. Any compassionate rabbi might do the same, provided the sinner had repented and made the sacrifices called for by the law. Such words of encouragement and reassurance were probably very common in the synagogues of his day. But Jesus went one step further to show that a new day had dawned: He “proved” his words by healing the man. He didn’t just reassure the man of something that had happened in a faraway heaven. He made it clear that when God forgives, lives change. And they change dramatically.

This is the way of divine mercy. Every time you repent of your sins-and especially when you celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation-Jesus pours out a fresh taste of his life and his love. He empowers you to stand up and walk in the dignity of a beloved child, freed from all guilt and shame. Remember: He gave up his very life so that you could be set free. How can he not show you that freedom whenever you turn to him?

“Jesus, I rejoice in your love and mercy. May I never tire of hearing you call me your child!”

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