For November 20, 2013

General Audience

10:25 am-12:00 pm CET

St. Peter’s Square

Dear Brothers and Sisters: Today I would like to speak again on the forgiveness of sins by reflecting on the power of the keys, which is a biblical symbol of the mission Jesus entrusted to the Apostles. First and foremost, we recall that the source of the forgiveness of sins is the Holy Spirit, whom the Risen Jesus bestowed upon the Apostles. Hence, he made the Church the guardian of the keys, of this power. The Church, however, is not the master of forgiveness, but its servant. The Church accompanies us on our journey of conversion for the whole of our lives and calls us to experience reconciliation in its communal and ecclesial dimension. We receive forgiveness through the priest. Through his ministry, God has given us a brother to bring us forgiveness in the name of the Church. Priests, who are the servants of this sacrament, must recognize that they also are in need of forgiveness and healing, and so they must exercise their ministry in humility and mercy. Let us then remember always that God never tires of forgiving us. Let us truly value this sacrament and rejoice in the gift of pardon and healing that comes to us through the ministry of priests.

By

Michael Lichens is the Managing Editor for Catholic Exchange. When he's not revising and editing, he is often found studying and writing about GK Chesterton, Religion and Literature, or random points of local history. He holds an A.M. from the University of Chicago Divinity School and a BA from The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.

  • Ujay

    God Bless our Pope. This is the time to forgive and to ask for forgiveness especially for those who feel disillusioned about various scandals. And even those who no longer believe in the sacrament of penance. As we prepare to enter the new season of advent ,let us be open to the spirit, that even in the darkest of clouds,the sun will still shine. God is still leading his church even with imperfect people.

  • Jim Hill

    This is such a beautiful sacrament. God immersed us into Himself at Baptism and that’s where He wants to stay for eternity but when we sin and fall out of Him He has given us this beautiful way back in. Just as all the sacraments are designed to bring us in or bring us back. God has such a beautiful plan for our lives. Thank you King Jesus.

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