Saturday, 2nd Week of Lent March 7th
Alyse Spiehler C ‘17
Forgiven, Not Forgotten
“Who is there like You, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin.” Mi 7:18
It’s not hard to find the common thread that runs through today’s readings. Just in case you haven’t caught it, the responsorial Psalm’s refrain gives it away: “The Lord is kind and merciful.” (Ps 103:8) Each reading highlights God’s forgiveness toward his children, that is, toward each of us. He doesn’t “kind of” forgive us, He casts all of our sins into the “depths of the sea”; He tears them as far from us as the “east is from the west.” (Mi 7:19, Ps 103:12) Just as God loves us unconditionally, He forgives us in equal measure. The parable in the Gospel today also exemplifies this unending mercy in one of Christ’s best known stories, that of the prodigal son.
The story in Luke’s Gospel has the rebellious-young-man feel that plenty of contemporary films speak to— think Disney channel movie set in first century Holy Land. This well-known story puts into words the incredible love that God the Father has for all of His children, whether they be the prodigal son, or the obedient yet selfish “perfect child.” Even if we go and squander each and every one of the gifts God has given us, dishonor His name by our bad actions, and take up a filthy job to cover up our past, He will be lovingly waiting for us to return. The father sees his son from “a long way off,” as he was waiting for him to return (Lk 15:20). Instead of saying “forget you,” as his son rightly deserved, he remembers him and loves him. Nothing can separate us from the love of God, and nothing is too big to be forgiven. During this time in Lent, we are asked to look at our own lives so that we can be conformed to the will of God. It is important, though, that even when we find some areas in great need of repair, we remember God’s unending mercy. God’s word from today helps us to do just that.
Lord, help me to know and to accept Your forgiveness no matter what I’ve done in the past. Help me to move into the future with the knowledge of Your mercy always with me. Amen.