September 15, 2013

This week we are called to meditate on a wonderful aspect of our Christian spirituality: forgiveness.

The experience of God’s forgiveness is what can really change us from the inside, because it makes us experience the gratuitousness of His mercy and inexhaustible possibilities of life.

What the Gospel highlights is not our ability of forgiving but the joy we experience by being forgiven. This is also the reason God wants to forgive us: He wants us to be joyful. We get a glimpse of this every time we see Jesus welcoming a sinner. The three parables that make up this Sunday’s Gospel clearly convey the good news: God is a good father, and His home is a safe space.

In the parable of the lost sheep the attention is drawn to the activities of the pastor: he leaves the other, he searches for the lost one, and he goes to the extreme and doesn’t rest until he finds the lost one. And the intensity of search is proportionate to the joy of discovery. God rejoices when He forgives. The parable is about what God feels not about what the sinner must do, the compassion of God and his love for sinners come before conversion. We convert and repent because we are loved. We experience conversion because forgiven. The shepherd goes in search of the lost sheep because it continues to be precious in his eyes. Now we understand how beautiful it is to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation: it makes us experience the joy of God that becomes truly our strength.

Remain in God’s love, for He loves you immensely,

Fr. Stanislao

 

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