God’s Mercy

Dear brothers and sisters, hello!

In today’s liturgy we read chapter 15 of the Gospel of Luke, which contains 3 parables of mercy: that of the lost sheep, that of the lost coin, and then the longest of all the parables, unique to St. Luke, that of the of the father and the 2 sons, the “prodigal” son and the son who thinks he is “just,” who thinks he is holy. All 3 of these parables speak of God’s joy. God is joyful. This is interesting: God is joyful! And what is God’s joy? It is God’s joy to pardon, God’s joy is to pardon! It is the joy of a shepherd who finds his little sheep; the joy of a woman who finds her coin; it is the joy of a father who welcomes back into his house the son who was lost – it was as if he were dead and had come back to life, had come back home. Here is the whole Gospel! Here! Here is the whole Gospel, the whole of Christianity! But understand that it is not sentiment, it is not “do-goodism”! On the contrary, mercy is the true power that can save man and the world from the “cancer” of sin, moral evil, spiritual evil. Love alone fills the voids, the negative abysses that evil opens in the heart of history. Only love can do this, and this is God’s joy! 

Jesus is all mercy, all love: he is God made man. Each of us, each of us, is that lost sheep, that lost coin; each of us is that son who has squandered his freedom following idols, mirages of happiness, and has lost everything. But God does not forget us, the Father never abandons us. He is a patient father, he is always waiting for us! He respects our freedom, but he always remains faithful. And when we return to him, he welcomes us as his children into his house because he never ceases, not even for a moment, to wait for us, with love. And his heart celebrates for every child that returns. It celebrates because it is joy. God has this joy when one of us sinners goes to him and asks forgiveness. 

What is the danger? It is that we presume to be just, and judge others. We judge God too because we think that he ought to castigate sinners, condemn them to death, instead of forgiving them. This is how we court the danger of remaining outside the Father’s house! Like that older brother of the parable, who, instead of being happy because his brother had returned, gets angry with the father who welcomed him and celebrates. If there is no mercy in our heart, the joy of forgiveness, we are not in communion with God, even if we observe every precept, because it is love that saves, not merely following precepts. It is the love of God and neighbor that fulfills all the commandments. And this is God’s love, his joy: forgiveness. He always waits for us! Maybe someone has something heavy in his heart: “But I did this, I did that… .” He is waiting for you! He is a father: he is always waiting for us!

If we live by the law “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth for a tooth,” we will never get out of the spiral of evil. The Devil is clever, and he dupes us into thinking that with our human justice we can save ourselves and the world. In reality, only God’s justice can save us! And God’s justice is revealed in the cross: the cross is God’s judgment on all of us and this world. But how does God judge us? By giving his life for us! This is the supreme act of justice that defeated the Prince of this world once and for all; and this supreme act of justice is also the supreme act of mercy. Jesus calls all of us to follow this road: “Be merciful, as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). I will ask you to do something now. In silence, everyone, let us all think… everyone think of a person with whom we are not in good stead, with whom we are angry, whom we dislike. Let us think of this person and in silence, at this moment, let us pray for this person and become merciful with this person. [There is a moment of silence for the prayer proposed by the Holy Father.]

Let us now call upon the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy. Thanks to http://www.Zenit.org

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