The over all themes, in today’s Readings, are reminders about forgiveness and living “virtuous lives” by following the teachings of Jesus. The readings speak about rejoicing when one turns away from evil, which made me reflect upon the Catholic Church’s teaching on the Death Penalty and allowing for anyone who has sinned, to be forgiven … “since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed, he surely shall live, he shall not die.”
God does forgive our sins- our human challenge lies in our ability to also forgive- which is not always an easy task. We need God to help us in our process of forgiving others who possibly have made a decision that we find hurtful, or have acted in a way that has hurt another. Trying to forgive, on our own, can be very difficult, but asking God to help us in our growth and eventual forgiveness, of another, is possible.
Forgiveness, includes… “a new heart and a new spirit” leading us to healing, as we replace anger, resentment, or fear with reconciliation, forgiveness and acceptance of human mistakes, frailties and the perception of others. God does know what is in our hearts and with God’s help, through prayers and petitions, we can forgive and live virtuous lives if we humbly seek God’s presence and help in overcoming the conflicts we encounter with people in our lives.