11 Jun 2016

This Week Letter – June 12, 2016

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Dear Parishioners and Friends,


Forgiveness, mercy, hope, and faith are words that appear in the Bible often.  It is good to hear them, but it is better to live them every day.

In today’s readings we clearly see the issue with forgiveness and mercy. Some that read the story of King David may be disgusted by the fact that David killed Uriah to take possession of his wife. We can unequivocally say that he was guilty of a mortal sin. And yet, God forgave him, because he humbly confessed: “I have sinned against the Lord,” but He also punished him so he wouldn’t continue to sin. David endured his punishment in the spirit of penance and was restored to grace through God’s mercy.

In the Gospel, forgiveness and mercy are shown in a new light. God no longer sends a prophet like David, but instead sends His own son to save all sinners. Christ looks for them everywhere, in homes and on the road during his travels. The fragment we read today shows two human attitudes towards sin. The Pharisee is an example of a person with a heart closed off to love, a person prone to criticizing the behavior of others,  but not caring about his own behavior and not declaring his own guilt.

The second is a converted sinner. Although the woman committed many sins, they have all been forgiven because of her great trust in the mercy of God, and her great love evident in the gesture of her washing Jesus’ feet. The fact that Jesus did not impose a penance on her might surprise us. He did this not only because of the great love she has shown Him, but also because He Himself has redeemed us all.

Do we in our daily lives remember this? Do we remember that we are experiencing forgiveness through God’s love and through the sacrifice that Jesus Christ has made for us? Do we accept the exemplary attitude of David? The more a person repents for their sins motivated by love, the more abundant is the forgiveness of God who can forgive not only the sin, but also the punishment.

Lord Jesus, God the Merciful, the Gospel helps us understand the joyful truth that nobody is spared from Your love or deprived of your forgiveness. Help us understand this truth, especially during this time proclaimed by Pope Francis as the Year of Mercy. Help us show mercy towards our brothers and sisters who are in need. Help us so that we never doubt you, always believe in you and always lead others your way.

God bless.