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The media is full of stories about the currently ‘missing’ spy, Edward Snowden and the rights and wrongs of his actions exposing what government agencies around the world are up to. But perhaps one of the more interesting but lesser known facts around this case is that Americans and doubtless countless others have signed a petition on the White House website asking for Snowden to be pardoned. Within a very short period of time, the petition had already reached the 100,000 signatures which require the US authorities to make a response.

So, even before the full facts or the consequences of his actions are known, thousands of people around the world are calling for forgiveness. In a world that often seems selfish and short of charity we see a public outpouring of love for a man that few had even heard of last week.

Where does this love come from? Yes, it may just be people standing up to give the authorities a poke in the eye but I would like to think that for many, this is an expression of God’s love. In my previous piece, I mentioned the slaying of the Philistine Goliath by David, the smallest member of his family. David was raised by God to the position of King but he abused his power committing adultery (2 Samuel 12:24) and murder. Yet God was even able to forgive these great sins once David asked for forgiveness.

Before we condemn someone today, let us examine our own consciences and ask ourselves the question, ‘When did I last receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation?’