God will always forgive us
Fourth Sunday of Lent
By Fr Roy Cimagala
Never doubt this truth of our Christian faith. As illustrated in that beautiful parable of the prodigal son (cfr. Lk 15,11-32), God is always ready to forgive us, no matter what sin we commit. All we have to do is just to go back to him in repentance, just like what the prodigal son did.
In life, anything can happen. We try to do what is good, but sometimes our idea of what is good can actually be bad. We just have to remember that even in our worst possible scenario, we can always count on God’s ever-ready mercy as long as we decide to come home to him.
We should always strengthen our faith in God’s mercy and compassion. Of course. We should also try not to abuse God’s goodness, even if we know that despite our best efforts we may end up abusing it just the same. But whatever happens, we should come home. Just come home to our Father God. That’s what matters in the end.
We need to strengthen our spirit of divine filiation—that God is our father who is all merciful and compassionate, who is all willing to do anything for us just to get us back to him. He knows that even if he has made us to be his image and likeness, that dignity often spoils us, and so we get into trouble.
This truth about our divine filiation is worth reiterating. It is what truly grounds us to the foundation of our life and nature, giving us the meaning and purpose of our existence. It’s a source of joy, confidence and serenity. It tells us what our filial rights and duties are.
More importantly, it tells us who we are and gives us an abiding sense that we are never alone, or worse, just on our own. It fills us with the conviction that we are children of God, that no matter what happens, God will always be with us and for us unless we reject him.
We have to be wary of our tendency to think that we are just on our own. That would be an attitude that can be suggested only by the devil who will always tell lies. Sad to say, many people are succumbing to this trick of the devil. That’s why many now fall into some deep despair when misfortune comes their way. They feel there’s no one else to run to anymore. We should do everything to strengthen our spirit of divine filiation.
Let’s always remember that God “takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they return from their ways and live.” (Ez 33,11) And as shown by Christ, God does not wait for man to turn back to him. He takes the initiative to reach out to us, sinners.
In all the miracles that he performed, Christ was more interested in forgiving the sins of those involved than in healing them of their infirmities and predicaments. His love and compassion went beyond the concern for the bodily health of those characters. He focused more on their spiritual recovery.
We have to see to it that in proclaiming the gospel to the others, in our effort to present Christ to the others, we should not simply talk about the strictness of God’s demands and expectations from us, the high standard that he is setting for us. This will scare people more than attract them to Christ. We should always include God’s mercy in all our preaching and counseling.