Relieved of our sins

Friends in the Lord, today we encounter this scene in the gospel where is this woman, totally bent over for 18 years.
There are serious cases of people who are quite bent over, who get older and their spine is curved from arthritis; but if we look at this scene in a spiritual way, we can see that this woman who is looking down at the ground all the time, not able to straighten up and see the world, or take in a panorama of life – that is what sin does to us. Sin takes away our ability to see everything in it’s wonder; we are stuck with our eyes on the earth instead of up toward heaven. We are in pain also – sin makes us unhappy, takes away our hope, and ruins the joys of life.
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But Jesus Christ cures this woman with a touch! Just like that. Our Lord wants the same for us in our spiritual life; he wants to cure our souls of the poison of sin, and he can do it just as simply as with this woman, for us, by means of Confession.
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Christ’s priest – his ambassador sent in his stead, by the simple words of absolution heals the person of even the greatest maladies.
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Sometimes young people, who get into something very bad, and for the first time experience the horror of serious sins – when they come to confession and confess – yes, we talk a little, some advice on how to avoid that situation again and such…. but after they hear the words of absolution – forgiveness –
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I must say, in these cases, I have never heard such gratitude to God in my life: ‘Thank you,’ they say. A lot of people say ‘thank you’, but these young people sometimes say ‘THANK YOU!’ a few times. This is because they know what it is to have Jesus forgive them, and, like that woman in the gospel, to feel the weight removed that had bent them over, so they are able to stand up, straight again.
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There is a beautiful prayer from the psalms that we say in the Old Latin Mass, before Communion, I wish it had been kept in the new Mass. It really expresses this feeling: ‘What return shall I make to the Lord for all he has done for me? I shall take up the chalice of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord.’ Mass is the only place we can make adequate thanks to God, for all he has done in forgiving us.

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