“Who among us can presume to be free of sin? No one. Let us ask God to forgive our sins.” — Pope Francis, Tweet, April 30, 2014
At the heart of a Christ-centered belief system is the idea of second chances, because human beings are sinful and need the redemption of Jesus Christ. We believe in forgiveness from a God who gave us the sacrament of confession. We know, every time we say the Lord’s Prayer that we must, in turn, forgive each other.
But if we ever lived in a Christian culture in the United States, our society has forgotten what that means.
It would seem the US (and the Western world for that matter) now worships a false god of vengeance. Mistakes and “sins” of the past are unforgiveable. One strike and you are out.
Day after day, if I dare to turn on the television or read the newspaper, I see person after person being ridiculed and criticized for their “sins,” resulting in the ruin of his or her livelihood and reputation. (I hesitate to even think what the future will be like…)
It’s a good thing to be aware of the times in which we live. In today’s world, what we say in private, enlightened or ignorant, serious or in jest, can become world news overnight.
Having just celebrated the feast that honors our God’s greatest attribute, Mercy, we must remember human beings are made in God’s image. And we must somehow, without fear, be witnesses to the God who honors our freedom. (We used to live a country like that once. Somehow we have to find the way back to that place…)
Our God is a God of Truth, willing to become a human being to speak that Truth and die for that Truth. All of us must work out our salvation in humble “fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)
And regarding sin — of which only He can be the judge — our God offers everyone redemption, forgiveness and countless second chances.