Every time I hear this gospel, I always think of the wonderful image of the father welcoming his son back and embracing him with his love and mercy. The son had lived a life away from God, had squandered his freedom and indulged in the pleasures of the world, he had made a total mess of his life.
Yet his father never gave up on him, always watching out from afar, hoping and praying that he would return home someday. So too is the way with God our loving father, he never gives up on any one of us no matter what we have done in life, he knows that we are weak and fragile and that we will stumble and fall many times on our journey of life, after all, we are human. The most important thing is that we get up again quickly and embrace God’s mercy and forgiveness. God takes us just as we are in our human raw state with all our imperfections. He calls us to a relationship of love even if we are in the depths of sin, he doesn’t love us any less, he waits. Always. And it is never too late. Thats what he is like, that’s how he is, he is a father. A father waiting at the doorway who sees us when we are still far off who is moved and who comes running towards us, embraces us and kisses us tenderly. His heart rejoices over every child who returns to him.
Pope Francis reminds us, bring to the confessional, the sins that bring the greatest shame. To confess ones sins to the Priest is to come face to face with the infinite mercy of Jesus who forgives. God never writes anybody off. No human sin no matter how serious it is can limit God’s love and mercy, so tonight, don’t hold back, give to Jesus what is really troubling you and weighing you down, off load everything and he will set you free.