The Power of the Pardon

With President Trump discussing the power of his ability to pardon, concerns are abounding about the extent and nature of this executive privilege. Lawyers and judges will settle these matters and answer necessary questions in time.

As disciples, we know the beauty and grace of the pardon that comes to us by the mercy of God. Through the power of the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we are assured that our loving God fully pardons all of our offenses, regardless of their size.

Among the details discussed in reference to presidential pardons, legal scholars seem to agree that the citizen who the president is pardoning must accept it in order for it to take effect. In other words, the pardoned person implicitly admits guilt in receiving the pardon. 

When we confess our sins in the Sacrament of Penance, we explicitly admit our guilt. We also do this every time we celebrate Mass during the penitential rite. What amazing grace is so readily available to us! Yet, a question emerges: How well do we receive our divine pardon? Do we reflect joy commensurate to the experience of God's mercy?

After the Sacraments of Baptism, Marriage, Holy Orders, and Confirmation, we celebrate-to varying degrees-with banquets, fine meals, choice wines, music, and dance. But, after we go to confession, we get in the car and go food shopping or complete other mundane errands. Where is the dessert, cocktail, or experience of beauty to celebrate that our sins are forgiven? 

During the summer months when we frequently enjoy a vacation to restore our spirits, perhaps a celebration of the forgiveness of God will refresh our souls immeasurably: a simple confession to experience the vastness of mercy that only Jesus can provide. Our divine pardon comes not by a pen but from the life of Jesus. This is cause for joy and celebration. 

Let us pray to the Lord.