Monday, September 13, 2010
Rejoicing over the repentant sinner
Father’s homily focused on the Gospel, the parable of the Prodigal Son. He painted the picture of what the Jewish audience would have been thinking about Jesus’ story, that it would have been shocking and very uncomfortable for them to hear about a son whose father would have welcomed him after such disgrace and outright disrespect. Similarly, the woman searching for what would have been the equivalent of a penny and the shepherd leaving behind his sheep to search for the lost one are stories that would have seemed senseless, and upon reflection even now, they still transcend human understanding.
The point was that God’s love for us is unbelievable, incomprehensible to the human mind. We think that there should be some sort of earthly justice that responds in kind to the evil deeds done by another person (particularly if they are done to us). Not so, with the superabundant love of God. The repentant sinner is welcomed with a loving embrace.
To conclude his homily, Father offered to us a challenge for our modern time. How would we respond if one of the 9/11 terrorists repented and was welcomed into Heaven after having successfully plotted such a heinous crime? Would we be able to humbly rejoice in the victory over sin and death in that terrorist’s soul, or would we be so proudly bitter about the injustice of a sinner’s consequence?