- Who among us can say in truth: “I have never committed adultery nor had adulterous thoughts”, or “I have never spoken about someone in a negative way”?
- If we have sinned gravely against God or against our neighbour, how will God act toward us?
King David has committed two grave sins. He caught side of a married woman from his palace, desired it and committed adultery with her. He committed a second and even graver sin by bringing about the death of her husband. He had him placed in the most dangerous combat zone so that he would be killed (2: Samuel 11).
Confronted with the truth by the prophet Nathan, David was almost forced to confess: “I have sinned against the Lord”; this is the first necessary step for us sinners if we want to be forgiven by God. Yet, it is surprising that in spite of his two grave sins, the prophet replied: “The Lord has forgiven your sin, you will not die”? David perhaps, had expected a great punishment.
Yet here is the good news; God never stops offering His forgiveness as long as we acknowledge our faults instead of proudly justifying them. This is what St John clearly teaches: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just so as to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all iniquity”. (1 John 9)
Catholics do go to confession. Why? Because Jesus himself instituted that sacrament of his loving mercy when he said to his first priests on the day of his Resurrection: “Those whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them…”(John 20).He gave that power to priests because of his infinite love for us.
Simon, the Pharisee out of pride and hypocritically righteous, committed a double sin: he judged Jesus for letting that women touch him, and the woman for her bad behaviour. Yet that woman humbly came to thank Jesus for having expelled seven devils from her and for having forgiven her sins. Jesus looks at her as the lost sheep, but a lost sheep who loved him greatly: “I tell you, her sins as many as they are, shall be forgiven her, because she has loved much”. What then saved that woman? “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace!”(Luke 7,47)
Jesus knows too well how many our sins are. Yet the good news is for those who also believe that whereas our sins are finite, his loving mercy is infinite….