“Pardon our sins for Your name’s sake.” –Psalm 79:9

The prophet Ezekiel explains that God delivered His sinful people to uphold the greatness of His own name throughout the nations (Ez 36:22). It was important to the Lord that He would not be regarded by the pagans as a fickle God Who promised to be God of His people, but then abandoned them when they strayed from Him.

Justice is on God’s side (see Dn 9:7); yet even more than being just, God is compassionate and merciful (Dn 9:9; Ps 103:8; Ex 34:6). Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI even made the amazing observation that “God’s passionate love for His people – for humanity…is so great that it turns God against Himself, His love against His justice” (God is Love, 10).

When we have given ourselves to God and we covenant with Him in Baptism, we are protected because we are now associated with the Holy Name of God. We are stamped with His image and His Name. We are His. As a parent stands up for their child, so God fights for His children, even if He “turns…His love against His justice” because of us.

Therefore, beloved children, live in holiness and obedience, so that God need no longer turn against Himself because of us.

PRAYER: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, how can I ever thank You enough for holding back your just punishments toward me, and instead lavishing me with Your merciful love. I will spend the rest of my life serving You with gladness (Ps 100:2).
PROMISE: “Pardon, and you shall be pardoned.” Lk 6:37
PRAISE: St. Cyril returned after exile to formally accept the Nicene Creed.

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