Advent Reflection: Bishop Hlib Lonchyna - Why on Earth should God forgive us?

18/12/2015 10:34 am

We have a great reflection today from Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, Bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family in London.

He asks the question: Why on Earth should God forgive us our sins?

Probably because he's not just fully human but also fully divine:

"We live, struggle, strive to do good, but sin inbetween. We're not proud of it, we'd rather be good, but often can't help it. Then compunction kicks in. We're sorry, we repent, we promise not to do it. And then we do it again. And every confession is more of the same.

"Yet we expect God to forgive us. Which he does. Then we strive to do good, but continue sinning inbetween. And the cycle repeats itself like the seasons of the year.

"Now, why on earth should God forgive us?

"Imagine if someone would act like that towards us. We, of course, would generously forgive them. Once? Twice? Maybe ten or fifty times?

"But a hundred? Two hundred? A thousand times? Hardly. We would probably lose patience, shun the person, maybe even sever ties with them.

"But not God. God does not act towards us, as we do towards others. And that makes a whole world of difference... God's forgiveness is a free gift but he does not forgive indiscriminately.

"It's not as if we can go on sinning, because 'God will forgive us'. God will always forgive us if we are sorry. Being sorry means I don't want to continue doing what I did. Knowing that 'I might sin again' is not the same as saying 'I want to sin again'. But when we do, and when we are sorry, God will surely forgive us. Again and again.

"God's mercy is a gift. Cherish it. Keep it. And share it."

Podcast Series

The Year of Mercy, given to us by Pope Francis, presents the ideal opportunity to focus on God's mercy and forgiveness.

To mark this, many of the Bishops of England and Wales have recorded special reflections for Advent. One podcast reflection will be uploaded every day throughout the season.


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