Weekend Reflections for 3/29/19
"Mercy triumphs over judgment" (James 2:13). This quote gets to the heart of this Sunday's prodigal son parable. The younger son represents all of us in that he squanders his Godly inheritance. He wastes his gifts on worldly trifles. God wisely goes "hands-off" with him to the point where the child can hit rock bottom and recognize how "naked" he is without God's help. Thus he comes to his senses again.
As "necessity is often the mother of invention," the young man devises a plan for coming back into his father's graces. He needs to go to confession. He is inspired, an excellent model for you and me.
The most amazing part of this parable is not that he comes to his senses, which is something the Holy Spirit regularly leads us to, but that the father's response is so overwhelming in its generosity! The father hears the confession without responding, and then showers blessings and gifts, and restores honor upon him.
This too is our experience in confession! We do our part, confessing, "Father, I've sinned against God and against you [the Church, our fellow man, represented by the priest]", and God's response is always overwhelmingly merciful. We leave the confessional a new person, just as the prodigal son returns to the father's graces even more blessed than before.
Confession is THE direct route to the heart of God the Father.
God, for his part, is lavish, prodigal in his graces. He's the truly prodigal one. We for our part ought to let ourselves be continally moved by love to come back to him and confess our need to receive his transforming merciful graces, regardless of whether our sin is large or small. Confession is simply a love response to Love. What a gift!
-Fr. Anthony Wieck, SJ