Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary.
The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So Jesus addressed this parable to them.
“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.
“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one
would not light a lamp and sweep the house,
searching carefully until she finds it?
And when she does find it,
she calls together her friends and neighbors
and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’
In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.” LK 15:1-10
Today, Jesus teaches us that God is not very economical (Archbishop Barron). His grace can’t be earned, its a gift and He can use it how He wants. How does a sinner receive this grace? Allowing Jesus into your boat, recognizing our sinfulness, humbly approaching the One who is love, mercy, and justice. As Archbishop Barron says, “The Gospel is about detachment”. We are called to repent, change our lives, desire to be holy. One who takes steps to stop the sin by coming to God’s mercy until the sin is no longer a part of their life. This may also require medicine, doctors, and counselors with God’s grace in confession. The opposite is the one who thinks they never sin or tries to rationalize their sin and does not reconcile themselves with God. One who does not desire holiness.
Catholic Culture.org defines repentance as “Voluntary sorrow because it offends God, for having done something wrong, together with the resolve to amend one’s conduct by taking the necessary means to avoid the occasions of sin. To repent is to be sorry for sin with self-condemnation.” In the act of contrition, we pray to “avoid the near occasion of sin”. Often times we forget this once we get back into the routine of life. Habits are important to pay attention to. We may need to change a routine we are in, a place we go, people we hang out with, or today an electronic device we use too much.
God gave us life as a gift out of love, our identity is in Him. When we celebrate all saint’s day and all soul’s day, we learn that we are made to see God face to face at the end of our journey through the death and resurrection of Christ in baptism. We have a high calling. We must learn to “avoid the near occasion of sin” by forming ourselves through discipline and daily habits that lead us to God not away from Him. We are called to rise above with God’s grace and cooperating with His Will. Our souls, our being, is a precious gift from God and He wills for us to come back to Him. We must make our will His Will to return His love. Pope Francis says, “God never tires of giving mercy, we tire of asking for it.” Repent, you have an entire heaven full of angels and saints waiting to rejoice!
Most importantly, God’s one desire is your friendship. He sent His only Son to die for it. God wants a relationship with you. Our sin is a failure in relationships. We are made for relationships. Our sin stems from a failure in our relationship with God, our own flesh, or another person. When we sin we fail in one of these relationships. Think about who you are hurting next time you are about sin. We all need to learn and practice forgiveness because we will certainly fail in our relationships. They are difficult. With God’s grace and love transforming us, we too can share this love to build healthy relationships with others.
Today’s challenge: Repent. Baby steps start one day at a time and come to God’s grace in the Eucharist and confession daily if needed. The saints often came to this two sacraments daily.
Be a servant, become a saint!