If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven them…


” Jesus says to his disciples: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them” (v. 23). Yet before giving the apostles the power to forgive, he forgives them, not with words but with an act, the first act of the Risen Lord. The Gospel tells us that, “he showed them his hands and his side” (v. 20). Jesus showed them his
wounds. He showed them his wounds, because forgiveness is born from wounds. It is born when our wounds do not leave scars of hatred, but become the means by which we make room for others and accept their weaknesses. Our weakness becomes an opportunity, and forgiveness becomes the path to peace. This does not mean that we turn around and act as if nothing is changed; instead, we open our hearts in love to others. That is what Jesus does: faced with the sadness and shame of those who had denied him and fled, he shows his wounds and opens up the wellspring of mercy. He does not multiply words, but opens wide his wounded heart, in order to tell us that he is always wounded with love for us.
Together, we believe that Jesus always gives us the possibility of being forgiven and starting over, but also the strength to forgive ourselves, others and history! That is what Christ wants. He wants to anoint us with his forgiveness, to give us peace and the courage to forgive others in turn, the courage to grant others a great amnesty of the heart. What great good it does us to cleanse our hearts of anger and remorse, of every trace of resentment and hostility! Dear brothers and sisters, may today be a time of grace for you to accept and experience Jesus’ forgiveness! May it be the right time for those of you who bear heavy burdens in your heart and long for them to be lifted so that you can breathe freely once again.”
Pope Francis

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