God’s fountain of mercy

During the weekday homily on July 7, 2017, Pope Francis spoke about the love and mercy of God, the Father in these words: “Give me your sins, your weaknesses, I will heal you and you will go forward”. During the Lenten Season, we are expected to prepare our heart by cleansing ourselves of our sins through the Sacrament of Confession. Hence, I am glad to share the salient points of the Sacrament of confession.

Jesus instructs through the story of the prodigal son, how much His heavenly Father loves us (cf. LK 15:11-32). The younger son, in the story, realizes within himself the loss of his father’s love and longs for his home: “How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger!” (LK 15:17). This story ends highlighting the truth that when we go to our God and Father with a contrite and humble heart, He is ready to offer us his forgiveness, no matter how serious our sins may have been. The following action of the Father bears testimony to the forgiving nature of Our Heavenly Father: “But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion and ran and embrace him and kissed him” (LK 15:20).

The love of our Heavenly Father is such that the moment we are repentant and go to ask for his forgiveness, He is pleased to accept us with the gentle and serene voice: “I absolve you from your sins”. Hence, it does not make any sense to postpone or to remain unwilling to go and ask for His forgiveness. Let us, during this Lenten Season, respond to the urge of the Holy Spirit to purify our heart and soul, which is the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

In order that we may be forgiven, what is required on our part is the perfect contrition. Contrition is the sorrow we experience for the sins, we have committed. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that perfect contrition arises from a sincere love for God and it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to Sacramental Confession as soon as possible (cf. CCC no.1452).

On any occasion, when we don’t have the possibility to go for confession, Pope Francis exhorts like this: “If you don’t find a priest to go to confession, speak to God. He is your Father. Tell Him the truth… Ask for His forgiveness with all your heart with an act of contrition and promise Him, afterwards you will go to confession (Pope Francis, Homily, March 20, 2020).

May this Lenten Season transform our life. Let us prepare to celebrate worthily, the Easter and have a share in the glory of Risen Lord Jesus Christ.

God bless you

Fr. Arul Joseph V.