Thursday, January 12, 2017
Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 228.
(Youcat answer) God alone can forgive sins. Jesus could say “Your sins are forgiven” (Mk 2:5) only because he is the Son of God. And priests can forgive sins in Jesus’ place only because Jesus has given them that authority.
A deepening through CCC
(CCC 1441) Only God forgives sins (Cf. Mk 2:7). Since he is the Son of God, Jesus says of himself, "The Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" and exercises this divine power: "Your sins are forgiven" (Mk 2:5, 10; Lk 7:48). Further, by virtue of his divine authority he gives this power to men to exercise in his name (Cf. Jn 20:21-23).
Reflecting and meditating
(Youcat comment) Many people say, “I can go directly to God; why do I need a priest?” God, though, wants it otherwise. We rationalize our sins away and like to sweep things under the rug. That is why God wants us to tell our sins and to acknowledge them in a personal encounter. Therefore, the following words from the Gospel are true of priests: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (Jn 20:23).
(CCC 1442) Christ has willed that in her prayer and life and action his whole Church should be the sign and instrument of the forgiveness and reconciliation that he acquired for us at the price of his blood. But he entrusted the exercise of the power of absolution to the apostolic ministry which he charged with the "ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor 5:18). The apostle is sent out "on behalf of Christ" with "God making his appeal" through him and pleading: "Be reconciled to God" (2 Cor 5:20).