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"If I sin, what do I do to you?" (Job 7.20)
Transcript of "If I sin, what do I do to you?" (Job 7.20)
Main Theme: Sin &Forgiveness
Chapter 15 review questions
Forgive me my sins, O Lord; forgive me the sins of my youth and the sins of mine age, the sins of my soul and the sins of my body, my secret and my whispering sins, the sins I have done to please myself and the sins I have done to please others. Forgive those sins which I know, and the sins which I know not; forgive them, O Lord, forgive them all of Thy great goodness.
Then Peter came and said to him, "Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times."
1. Explain what sin is and is not. Describe the consequences of sin.
2. Why is forgiveness important in our relationship with God and neighbour? What are the consequences of not giving and receiving forgiveness?
3. John Paul II wrote that there is no peace without justice, and no justice without forgiveness. Explain what this means.
5. Research a restorative justice initiative and prepare a written or an oral report describing the process.
8. In a journal reflection consider: How does forgiveness and reconciliation restore you to wholeness?
Chris William - Let It Go
What do you think influences people to forgive others despite their wrongdoings?
Faultless Lord, enduring death for me,
You have consummated the debt of my sins:
Your sacrifice of forgiveness was absolute!
Grant me the strength to also forgive others,
To excuse their transgressions against me.
So I may truly reflect this spiritual fruit,
Obliterate any persistent feelings of malice.
Let each trespass end as a closing chapter,
My continuing on the road of righteousness.
Forgive my sins as I aspire to forgive others.
You are truly archetypical of forgiveness.
You are a most forgiving Lord!
Matthew 18. 21-22
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
– In the sacrament of reconciliation, the priest absolves the penitent from his or her sins. Absolution is the remission of sins pronounced by the priest.
Eg. After confession, the priest would ask you to pray one Our Father.
– In the sacrament of reconciliation, the priest asks the penitent to do an act of “satisfaction” or penance for his or her sins. This act of penance serves not only to make up for the past but also to help him or her begin a new life. This act of penance may take the form of prayer, self-denial, or especially service to one’s neighbor and works of mercy.
Eg. After confession, the priest says “I absolve you from your sins” - forgiveness
– A person who recognizes his or her sinfulness, and touched by the grace of God, seeks reconciliation through the sacrament of reconciliation.
Eg. When a person swears and knows that it was bad, they will go to confession to ask for God’s forgiveness and never do it again
– The act by which a penitent recognizes his/her sinfulness, manifests contrition, and resolves to begin a new life by asking God’s pardon.
Eg. When we go to confession, we are seeking repentance (forgiveness)
– A process that brings together victims, offenders and the community in order to repair the harm and promote harmony. It emphasizes healing the harm caused by crime by means of naming the truth and making amends personally.
Sin, mortal and venial
– Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent. One commits venial sin when, in a less serious matter, one does not observe the standard prescribed by the moral law, or when one disobeys the moral law in grave matter, but without full knowledge or without complete consent.
– Personal sin gives rise to social situations and institutions that are contrary to divine goodness. They lead their victims to do evil in their turn. Living in a state of sin corrodes and destroys the communion and solidarity to which God calls us.
Eg Use of birth control, drugs, polluting the environment and excessive wealth
Focus your learning
Explain the effects of sin on the sinner, and on his or her relationship with God and with others.
What is necessary for forgiveness and reconciliation to take place?
How does forgiveness and reconciliation restore us to wholeness?
4. Explain how the Christian notion of forgiveness goes beyond the popular cultural expression, "Forgive and forget."
6. Write a story of reconciliation. Through the story, map the process of forgiveness, repentance and reconciliation.
7. As a class and with the help of your teacher or school chaplain or pastoral agent, prepare and celebrate a reconciliation service, culminating with an opportunity for individual confession.
Eg. Killing someone and not owning up to it and not going to confession is a mortal sin
Sin is an anti-relational intentional act or omission that is committed freely and with deliberation. It can be venial or mortal. Sin is both offence against God and against those who reflect the image and likeness of God. Our sins against others affect our relationship with God, that is, our very identity. Sin is a form of self-destruction. It is not a mistake or an error. For example, mistakenly erasing someone else’s computer file or accidentally breaking something valuable is not an intentional act and therefore not a sin. Sins are actions that I do or I do not do on purpose. Since they are committed deliberately and freely by me, I must admit responsibility for them. Sin is infidelity or betrayal of the covenant. The consequence of sin is guilt. Guilt is the internal burden of sin: what sin feels like within.
Forgiveness is important in our relationships with God and neighbor because as human beings, we need to have a good relationship with others. As Mother Teresa said “Forgiveness is the greatest thing in the world.” Almost everyone has at one time or another felt that they have not been treated correctly. Those who have suffered violence or humiliation at the hands of another human being find it almost impossible to think of forgiveness. Imagine how difficult it would be to forgive someone who has killed a loved one. Forgiveness without an acknowledgement on the part of the perpetrator almost always feels like a betrayal to oneself or to the loved one. Forgiving is God’s work. Forgiveness needs a power of love that is not within us to give.
Forgiveness is an overall personal initiative that bases itself on peace and justice. According to the “Message of His Holiness,” Pope John Paul II says, “The pillars of true peace are justice and that form of love, which is forgiveness.” This portion from the excerpt sums up the main idea and connection of “No peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness.”
“No peace without justice”
Despite the severity of the situation it is always difficult for people to forgive someone for their actions. In Isaiah 32:17, it says, “And the product of uprightness will be peace, the effect of uprightness being quiet and security forever.” Uprightness can be spoken in terms of bring forth justice. By having justice, you are guaranteed full respect for rights and responsibilities and moral virtue. Also, society will not be able to withstand the difficulties that may arise if situations are not dealt with correctly. It can cause riots or acts of terrorism, resulting a lack of peace. Therefore, justice brings out peace, which delivers quietness and security.
“… No justice without forgiveness”
In order for there to be justice, one must forgive. When you forgive someone, you are rebuilding the relationship with another person. Those wounds tend to be deep within the human heart, and require healing. Human justice is in itself very fragile and imperfect. This is because we express ourselves in ways of good or bad as individuals or in a group. Without forgiveness, there cannot be a sense of community and harmony. If everyone is focused on the bad things in society, there may be a temptation to retaliate against the person. However, that is not accomplishing any form of justice or closure. By exemplifying forgiveness, we are showing the ideas of Jesus in “proclaiming that injustice and evil do not have the final word in our history.”
The phrase “forgive and forget” is used and followed by many people. When something wrong is done to them, they would simply forget the wrongdoer and leave what had happened in the past. It is no longer of any important to them. This means that there would be no reconciliation and improper closure. What Christians believe is different compared to this idea. We remember the evil that has been done in order to learn from it and to further develop ourselves in life. Forgiveness does not mean forget the evil, since it can help us. We use this memory to help both the offender and ourselves solve the problem, allowing us to grow and continue on with our lives.
On May 13, 1981, an assassination attempt was made on Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square, by a man named Mehmet Ali Agca. Pope John Paul II was shot multiple times, suffering from gun wounds to the stomach and arms. The Pope was sent to the hospital while Acga was then sent to jail to serve a 19-year sentence. After the Pope recovered from the gun wounds, the Pope decided to forgive his would-be assassin for what he had done. The Pope visited Agca in the prison that he was held in. During their time together in the cell, they spoke, forgave and reconciled. With this, the two men had solved the issue at hand, allowing proper closure and peace between the two.
What do you think of the pope’s act of forgiveness?
I hated my father, truly I really, really hated him. Every day, after school I feared him from the moment he pulled up in front of the house in his car. As he would be walking towards the house, I could tell that he must have had a rough day at work from his facial expression. As he entered the house, I remember I would always run straight to my room and hide… He would always take his anger out on me. He would always yell ‘CORBIN! COME DOWNSTAIRS AND FIX YOUR SHOES’ but I knew that he did not only want me to go downstairs and fix my shoes... The next day, everyone, even my teachers wondered why I always had so many bruises. I would always give them an excuse such as “I fell down the stairs” or “I landed incorrectly while playing soccer” and such. As I grew up, I remember feeling that there was no way out. I felt lonely. I started to do bad things, drugs and etc. When I turned 24, I had finally moved out of the house, although I still felt lonely. I still hated my father for what he had done to me. Then one day, I met a woman on the streets who came up to me and gave me a brochure; saying “Forgiveness is happiness.” After reading the brochure, I went to confession. I realized then that what was holding me back from happiness was not forgiving my father. Through the pain that my father had caused my childhood, I decided to meet up with him once again and forgive him.
Forgiveness and reconciliation are important aspects when it comes to feeling whole once again. We may try to have something replace what bothers us, but it most likely will not be able to make things right. The meaning for this is that we must cooperate with what God gives us, which is forgiveness and reconciliation. Forgiving others allows the two sides to get together and solve any issue at hand. Through this, you are able to explain your thoughts and feelings on what happened between the two sides; finally relieving guilt off of your chest. Afterwards, broken relationships can be healed and wholeness can be restored to the individuals.
Why do you think the mother was relieved by Chris William’s forgiveness?
Pope John Paul II believed that “there is no peace without justice, and no justice without forgiveness.” Based on the father’s journey in forgiving the drunk driver, did he live out the words of Pope John Paul II?
What makes it difficult for people in society to forgive one another?
Jesus forgave those who crucified him for they did not know what they were doing. How can we as Christians follow his example?
Sin can be extremely damaging, not just to others, but to ourselves. God wants a relationship with each one of us. He desires our love, and he wants us to turn to him in good times and bad. He is our Father. He is our guide. Yet, when we sin, we hurt God. We turn away from Him and look to other things that are far less important. When we lie, cheat, steal…we hurt God. This causes a separation. Think about your best friend. If your best friend found out you had been stealing from him or her, what do you think that would do to your relationship? When we sin, we become separate from God rather than one with Him. While he is very forgiving when we ask for it, sometimes we allow that separation to grow and we move further and further away from the biggest support in our lives.
Forgiveness and reconciliation restore you to wholeness by releasing any guilt that you feel within yourself. Forgiveness means overlooking the sin or transgression, and restoring a bond of love. It does not mean justifying the offensive action or accepting it as right, nor does it mean justifying one’s own anger or sinful reaction. Forgiveness means laying aside our judgments of the other person and our own sinful reactions, and accepting others for who they are. God’s forgiveness of us and our sins against Him is unconditional and absolute. God does not reject us, objectify us, or bear anger or resentment against us. Forgiveness and reconciliation can lead to a stronger bond than previously existed. Each time an offense occurs, we can learn more about both the other and ourselves. This can lead to a deeper knowledge and understanding of each by the other, and thus can also lead to a more authentic bond of intimacy. Reconciliation should always be the goal.
It is necessary for forgiveness and reconciliation to take place because none of us want to carry grudges over other people. We must be able to forgive others. Forgiveness is such a small word, yet it is packed with a overabundance of meanings and implications. For some people, the word may bring memories of freedom and healing from a difficult time in their life while, for others, the word may stick in their throat and remind them of bitterness and anger they refuse to release. Due to the crucial and integral aspect of forgiveness for followers of Christ, believers must have a clear understanding so as to apply forgiveness in their personal circumstances. Many Christians couple the word “forgiveness” with reconciliation and trust—seeing forgiveness and reconciliation as two sides of the same coin. In order to fully understand the meaning of the word “forgiveness” and its relationship to reconciliation, one must compare biblical texts and investigate the biblical authors’ original intent. The exegesis of biblical texts will mainly be restricted to verses within the New Testament in hopes of gaining insight into the kind of forgiveness Jesus talked about and what the Early Church understood by His words.
Place yourself in God's loving presence. Remember this sacrament is a sign and celebration of the great love and mercy of Jesus, who forgive totally all who approach Him with contrite and humble hearts.
Assured of God's goodness rather than burdened by fear, review your life with the help of this guide. Resolve to renew your heart.