March 11, Saturday of the Second Week of Lent
Micah 7:14-15, 18-20, Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
When we ask God for His forgiveness, we turn to His immeasurable mercy and compassion. We may be consistent sinners, but we know He will always give us another chance if we admit that we have fallen into temptation. Such is the greatness of God’s love that is highlighted today in the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
One of the most elaborate stories from Luke, it tackles the consequences of extreme arrogance and love for material wealth. This causes us to become distant from the Father. When we are trapped in this selfish lifestyle, it is quite hard to find our way back to Him if we are too deep in our earthly desires. Just like how realization came to the prodigal son as he ate alongside pigs, we sometimes need to hit our lowest points first before our eyes can be opened to the gravity of our wrongfulness.
But once we confess our sins, the path that leads back to the Father becomes clearer. When we receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we prostrate before the mercy of God and pray that He accept us once again. No priest will ever say to you that the Lord has rejected your pleas. No matter what we have done, He will always welcome us back into His graces if we are willing to repent and change our ways. Every single time, He cleanses us from the stain of sin.
This reminds me of my favorite painting of the Prodigal Son, the one made by Pompeo Batoni. In that specific image, the son is shown placing his hands clasped in prayer on the chest of his father, begging for his acceptance. What is most striking in this art is the gesture of the father. He presses his son closer to him as he drapes him with his cape, giving him the care, he did not get while he was away from home.
This is how I picture God whenever I go to confession. I want to be closer to Him, and Jesus pulls me much harder towards Him, calling me to never sin ever again. Even in my sinfulness, the Lord’s mercy continues to reign over me.
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