And every priest stands day after day at his service, offering again and again the same sacrifices that can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, “he sat down at the right hand of God,” and since then has been waiting “until his enemies would be made a footstool for his feet.”
For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds,” he also adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today’s first reading speaks of forgiveness. The first week of the Spiritual Exercises has us consider our sins and God’s forgiveness and love.
When I was five or six years old, I remember my father teaching me how to hit a baseball. He would stand close and underhand the ball to home plate where I was standing, ready to hit it out of the park like the Mighty Casey of the famous poem. I took a mighty swing and failed to hold onto the bat. It flew out of my hands and hit my father square in the shin. He fell to the ground in pain. I ran into the house and to my room where I cried uncontrollably in shame and sorrow.
It was only a matter of a minute or two before my father came into the room and hugged me with all the love he had, so much love that my shame, sorrow and tears disappeared. He assured me that he was fine and one day I would be a great baseball player. I don’t know about becoming a great baseball player, but I sure did learn an awful lot about unconditional love that day.
This is but a small indication of God’s love for each of us. Imagine it!
—David McNulty works for the Midwest Jesuits. Dave and his wife Judy are grandparents of six.
“It is God’s justice that is revealed to us on the Cross: the Cross is God’s judgement on us and on the world. But how does God judge us? By giving His life for us! Here is the supreme act of justice that defeats the Prince of this world once and for all; and this supreme act of justice is precisely also the supreme act of mercy. Jesus calls all of us to follow this path: ‘Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.’”