From today's Psalm (Psalm 503-7,10-11):
'Have mercy on us O Lord, for we have sinned'
For many people, including people who make up the Church, we Catholic folks are a bit obsessed with sin. We talk about it all of the time. But then there is good reason to talk about it as often as we do. Jesus often spoke about it . St Paul loved speaking about it! And the three children of Fatima spent endless hours praying and sacrificing because of it, instead of playing as most children do!
It is important that we strive not to sin. Jesus told the woman who was caught in the act of adultery that her sins were forgiven and he left her with the following words: "Go and sin no more" (John 8:11). It is as clear as it gets.
Jesus also told us that only he, the Son of Man, has the authority on earth to forgive sins (Matt 9:6).
And thankfully Jesus went even further, giving us a platform upon which we can have our sins forgiven by him. He says: "'As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’" (John 20:21–23).
Jesus gives his disciples the authority to carry out this ministry. Through them he would forgive the sins of many and he still does to this day through the Sacrament of Reconciliation carried out by the successors to the disciples, the Church bishops and priests.