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(LifeSiteNews) — On this week’s two-part episode of The Bishop Strickland Show, Bishop Joseph Strickland discusses the mercy of God and striving for holiness, as well as the same-sex “blessing” ceremony in Uruguay and his open letter to bishops.

In the first part of the episode, Strickland offers a commentary on Matthew 18:21-35, in which Christ tells Peter that he must forgive others seventy-seven times, and tells the apostles the parable of the unmerciful servant.

Strickland divides his commentary into two parts. In the first part, he notes that Peter may have thought that he was being generous by asking if one should forgive a serious fault seven times. Christ, however, by saying that one should forgive seventy-seven times, emphasizes that people should always forgive. In the second part, Strickland observes that the model of forgiveness given by Christ in the passage is a model for Lent, something for which he says we ought to be grateful.

Christ, says Strickland, is ready to forgive us when we ask, since He desires that we should live like the forgiven, washed in His Blood. Speaking to the parable, Strickland notes that people may be surprised at the unmerciful servant for his lack of forgiveness for a smaller debt than the one he was just forgiven. Christ’s point, however, is that we ourselves act like the unmerciful servant with our fellows, something contrasted with the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the actions God takes with those in the Old Testament.

“God’s forgiveness really is limitless in the sense that it’s always there,” Strickland asserts. “The only limit to God’s forgiveness is that we tend to give up and quit asking [for] forgiveness.”

To this point, Strickland then turns his attention to Judas, whom God would have forgiven if he asked. To Strickland, Judas did not trust God enough to ask forgiveness of his betrayal, and though while Strickland maintains that Christ in a sense forgives him on the Cross with the words, “Father forgive them; they know not what they do,” Judas stands as a warning to us as one in the “most precarious of positions.” Should we give up on God’s mercy, Strickland declares, we put ourselves in “extreme peril.” If we know people who have that attitude, Strickland advises that we pray for them.

After a brief break, show host Terry Barber asks Strickland what he makes of people who believe they don’t have the need to repent because no priest has told them to repent and believe the Gospel, and that when clergy do not say that a sin is a sin, the laity will see it as a “green light.”

Strickland begins his consideration of the question by noting that Christ came to free us from sin and death. If there is a denial that we need freedom from sin, then we deny the need for a Savior by denying the need for the Incarnation and Redemption. “It renders the message of the Gospel meaningless,” Strickland asserts.

On a “deeper” level, Strickland says that while some view sin as a list of rules where it is not a big deal if we can get away with breaking them, sin gets to the essence of what it means to be alive and made in God’s image. “I think we need to recover that deep understanding of sin that many of the saints [had],” he says, referring to the horror of sin.

While most are not themselves saints, all are called to become saints and follow their example. “The saints continue to grow in charity, to grow in grace, to grow in the love of the Lord, all of those things that help us to turn away from sin and to perfect us,” he says. Furthermore, even though some people, including in the Church, may say that the fight against sin may seem idealistic and “beyond us,” Christ and the saints show us how to go about doing it, challenging us to seek holiness. Even though we may fall short of holiness, he continues, God’s mercy is “beyond our imagining in abundance.”

“We need to honor that mercy,” Strickland says. “We need to treasure the forgiving love that God offers us, ultimately through His Son, by doing our best to pay attention to sin.”

In the second part of the episode, Strickland offers commentary on Matthew 5:17-19, explaining that Christ speaks of all teachings of the law, including the Old Covenant of Moses. Strickland explains that Christ is the New Covenant, the Law Himself. The Gospel, he further notes, is for our time, and that we must read it and understand what Christ is telling us, as many in the Church and in the world argue that the truth has changed and that the commandments must be adapted to our times.

“That’s not what Jesus says in this passage,” Strickland declares, observing that Christ says that “not the smallest letter,” nor the “smallest part of a letter” of the law will change. Strickland proposes a test for those who believe in such a change, their message one that “contradicts Jesus Christ”: will the change make living the way of Jesus Christ easier or more challenging? Christ’s death, he points out, was not easy. If the proposition makes things easier for us, he maintains, then the proposition “casts a shadow” on Christ’s sacrifice.

Strickland also speaks to a Vatican-approved same-sex “blessing” ceremony in Uruguay, whereby the local bishop, Milton Troccoli, asked the nuncio, Gianfranco Gallone, if the blessing could be given, and was told that it must because Pope Francis signed Fiducia Supplicans.

When asked for response to the story, Strickland says that his response is “the same … as it was when Fiducia Supplicans first was issued: ‘Just say no.’”

“No, we’re not going to do this,” he continues. “No, read the Gospel that we just talked about.”

“This just has to be acknowledged as an attempt by the highest levels of the Vatican to say, ‘Oh! Well, we’ve changed the law, the commandments have changed.’”

Strickland, speaking about the “couple,” notes that while they can exercise their free will, it cannot change the Catholic faith. Looking to the blessing, Strickland applies the words of St. Paul in Galatians 1 directed to those who would preach another gospel to the blessing, saying “Let this be anathema.” The situation in the Church, Strickland says, is getting worse, and that no one can “honestly say” that the blessing was not intended to bless sin, but admonishes us that we must remain with the truth.

He closes the episode reading his open letter to bishops, explaining that he decided to release it on leap day (February 29) since it is a “unique day” that does not occur every year.

To watch all previous episodes of The Bishop Strickland Showclick here to visit LifeSite’s Rumble page dedicated to The Bishop Strickland Show.