Tuesday, March 11, 2008
SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY #155
Jesus said: "Man, thy sins are forgiven thee." And the scribes and Pharisees began to think, saying: "Who is this who speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?" And when Jesus knew their thoughts, answering he said to them: "What is it you think in your hearts? Which is easier to say: Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say: Arise and walk? But that you may know that the Son of man hath the power on earth to forgive sins" (he saith to the sick of the palsy), "I say to thee to: Arise, take up thy bed and go into thy house." And immediately rising up before them, he took up the bed on which he lay: and he went away to his own house, glorifying God. (Luke 20-25)
THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS BY PRIESTS: You have just heard that God alone can forgive sins. But does not a priest forgive sins in the Sacrament of Penance? Yes, but he does so not in his own name and by his own authority as Jesus did, but in the name and by the authority received from God--our Lord having left to the apostles and their successors the office of forgiving sins. By the Sacrament of Penance our Lord gave to His Church a really divine power, for the comfort and salvation of sinful men. Let us too, then, "glorify God who has given such power to men."
[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.](1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)