"Breaking Open the Word" :
James Cavanagh is the director of Evangelization and Catechesis for Metro-Area Parishes of the Denver Archdiocese. His weekly column, "Breaking Open the Word," is syndicated by the Denver Catholic Register, official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Denver. Click here to visit the Office of Evangelization & Catechesis for the Archdiocese of Denver.
Key verse: “Forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:13-14).
Catechism of the Catholic Church: “After his resurrection, Christ sent his apostles ‘so that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations’ (Luke 24:47). There is no offense, however serious, that the Church cannot forgive. There is no one, however wicked and guilty, who may not confidently hope for forgiveness, provided his repentance is honest. Christ who died for all men desires that in his Church the gates of forgiveness should always be open to anyone who turns away from sin” (Nos. 981, 982).
Life application: To one degree or another, we’re all subject to sin and slaves to our appetites. Only by the grace of God can we overcome our selfish inclinations. This week’s readings are a sobering reminder of the consequences of sin and how it kills the life of God in us. But they should also give us hope because they remind us that Christ can—and will—deliver us from any sin, no matter how serious it is, as long as we turn to him. In this age, the age of the Church, Christ lives and acts in and with his Church through the sacraments (CCC 1076). The Lord has given us the sacrament of reconciliation to bring us back from “exile” and restore our communion with God.
James Cavanagh is director of Evangelization and Catechesis for Metro-area Parishes of the Denver Archdiocese. Cavanagh’s column is distributed by the Denver Catholic Register.
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