“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Psalm 51:3-6,12-14,17

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TODAY’S WORD…

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Have mercy on me, O God,

according to Your merciful love;

according to Your great compassion,

blot out my transgressions.

Wash me completely from my iniquity,

and cleanse me from my sin.

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My transgressions, truly I know them;

my sin is always before me.

Against You, You alone, have I sinned;

what is evil in Your sight I have done.

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Create a pure heart for me, O God;

renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from Your presence;

take not Your holy spirit from me.

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Restore in me the joy of Your salvation;

sustain in me a willing spirit.

O Lord, open my lips

and my mouth shall proclaim Your praise.

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– Psalm 51:3-6,12-14,17 (RGP)

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From a REFLECTION on Psalm 51 by Pope Francis…

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This is the moment of reconciliation with God, in the confession of David’s sin.

And here David was humble; he was great!

Whoever prays with this Psalm (known as the Miserere)

is invited to have the same sentiments of repentance and trust in God that David had,

when he repented and, although being King, humbled himself,

without fearing to confess his fault and show his misery to the Lord,

convinced, however, of the certainty of His mercy.

And what he had dine was not a small sin, a little fib: he had committed adultery and murder!

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The Psalm…is a heartbroken appeal to God, the only one who can free from sin.

Very adaptable images are used: blot out, wash me, cleanse me.

Man’s real need is manifested in this prayer:

the only thing that we truly need in our life is to be forgiven, freed from evil and its consequences of death.

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Unfortunately, life often makes us experience these situations

and, in them, we must first of all trust in mercy.

God is greater than our sin. Let us not forget this: God is greater than our sin! …

And His love is an ocean in which we can immerse ourselves without fear of being overwhelmed:

for God, to forgive means to give us the certainty that He never abandons us.

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Whatever we might reprove ourselves for, He is still and always greater than everything (1 Jn 3:20)…

In this connection, whoever prays with this Psalm seeks forgiveness, confesses his fault;

however, acknowledging it, he celebrates God’s justice and holiness.

And then, he requests grace and mercy again.

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With forgiveness, we sinners become new creatures, brimming with the Spirit and full of joy.

Now a new reality begins for us: a new heart, a new spirit, a new life.

We, forgiven sinners, who received divine grace, can also teach others not to sin anymore. …

If you fall into sin out of weakness, raise your hand: the Lord will take it and help you to rise.

This is the dignity of God’s forgiveness.

The dignity that God’s forgiveness gives us is that of rising, of standing always, because He created man and woman to stand.

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Dear brothers and sisters…it is lovely to be forgiven,

but you also, if you want to be forgiven, must in turn forgive. Forgive!

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PRAYER…

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Have mercy on me, O God,

according to Your merciful love;

according to Your great compassion,

blot out my transgressions.

Wash me completely from my iniquity,

and cleanse me from my sin.

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