One Minute Reflection – 9 August – Thursday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 16:13–23 and the Memorial of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (1891-1942) Martyr
“Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.“…Matthew 16:19
REFLECTION – “Sin is before all else, an offence against God, a rupture of communion with Him. At the same time it damages communion with the Church. For this reason, conversion entails, both God’s forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church, which are expressed and accomplished liturgically, by the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.
Only God forgives sin (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” (Mk 2,10) and exercises this divine power: “Your sins are forgiven” (v.5; Lk 7,48). Further, by virtue of His divine authority He gives this power to men to exercise in His name (Jn 20,21). 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” (2Cor 5,18). The apostle is sent out “on behalf of Christ” with “God making his appeal” through him and pleading: ” Be reconciled to God” (v.20).
During His public life, Jesus not only forgave sins but also made plain the effect of this forgiveness, He reintegrated forgiven sinners, into the community of the People of God from which sin had alienated or even excluded them. A remarkable sign of this is the fact that Jesus receives sinners at His table (Mk 2,16), a gesture that expresses in an astonishing way, both God’s forgiveness and the return to the bosom of the People of God (cf. Lk 15; 19,9).”…Catechism of the Catholic Church – § 1440-1443
PRAYER – Lord our God, the Light and Creator of Light, grant that faithfully pondering on all that is holy, we may ever live in the splendour of Your presence. By the help and intercession of St Teresa Benedicta, You may never permit us to separate ourselves from You and thus we may come, to completion in You, Through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.