By Marta Alves
I remember a few years ago, when I was teaching religion to 13 and 14 years olds, that among them there was a young girl, her eyes were foggy, her smile shy and sporadic. She seemed to carry a burden that was weighing her down. The wall of sadness that surrounded her, came down after we began to talk about God’s mercy and forgiveness.
Sometimes we carry burdens that seem to weigh us down and take away our joy. A good talk with God, asking for His forgiveness, can restore us to total peace. God is all merciful and forgiving to us when we ask for his mercy, He is always ready to welcome us back.
The way to understand the mercy of God is only grasped by our understanding of the parable of the prodigal son. I enjoyed reading what Pope John Paul II had to say about it.
On the morning of September 8, 1999, according to the VIS, Pope John Paul II said that the parable of the prodigal son should be called the “merciful father.” Jesus shows us the ability of God to forgive, by revealing the merciful face of the Father in this parable.
Pope John Paul II continued by saying that:
"The decision of the younger son to liberate himself (from his father) ... is a blatant rejection of family communion. The distancing from the paternal home well expresses the meaning of sin and its character of ungrateful rebellion." Human logic, expressed in the elder brother's protest, would suggest "adequate punishment." Nonetheless, the Pope continued, the father goes out to meet the prodigal son and shows him his love. "Pure legality is overcome by generous and unconditional parental love, which goes beyond human justice and summons both brothers to sit once more at the father's table."
"The merciful father of the parable both contains within himself and transcends all the attributes of paternity and maternity. ... The mystery of the 'return home' admirably expresses the meeting between the Father and humanity, between mercy and misery, in a circle of love that does not only concern the lost son but extends to all."
If you are heavily laden by a sin, or a big remorse of conscience, don’t delay, go to the sacrament of confession, with a contrite heart unload your conscience, and accept God’s forgiveness. Use the graces of the sacrament of Penance and grow in the trust and in the faith that God is a merciful Father always ready to welcome you back.
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy on us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your Holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself. Amen
Last update Tuesday, July 16, 2013
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