Have you heard about the Year of Mercy? Pope Francis says, "God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking His mercy."
So, when you were out doing all of that great bargain shopping over Christmas did you pick up some mercy? If not, what are you waiting for? Maybe you don't think you need God's mercy. Well, I'm sure you're awesome and everything but if Mother Teresa needed God's mercy then maybe you should think again. Let's walk through of the commandments and just check in to see how we're doing. Click here.
How'd it go? Did you click? Well, if you don't have time right now go back and take another look. Paragraph 1847 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church says, "God created us without us: but he did not will to save us without us."116 To receive his mercy, we must admit our faults. "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."117 See, no need to worry! God is eager to forgive you, dust you off, kiss your boo-boos, and get you back out there to live a life of freedom, peace, and joy!
Still wondering, what am I apologizing for? Well, ask God for a little light and a lot of grace to be honest and to trust Him. My greatest stumbling block is doubt. I doubt that God can see past all of the muck and ugliness I have piled on top of myself. Can God, so perfect and beautiful, find anything beautiful in me? The gospel message that we Christians sometimes mess up delivering is this good news... God sees the beautiful, the potential, the gift that He made us to be. God is good and made us to share in that goodness.
One of the saddest truths in the bible is in the Gospel of John chapter 3 verse 19, "And this is the verdict, that light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil." When I am standing over my sink full of dishes and start washing as I stew on some minor injustice I believe have suffered on behalf of my husband this verse of scripture will come to mind. A gentle tug at my heart requesting me to forgive, and my stubborn pride holding on with every once of strength trying to justify and defend my rage. I sit with my unforgiving heart for a period of time because I get something from that feeling... power, control, self-righteousness, etc. Maybe I have never physically killed anyone, or robbed a bank, or sold drugs on the street corner, but I need and still qualify for God's mercy!!
My heart is far from perfect, and while the world might see actions of generosity or self-sacrifice God and I know my heart. I can't hide from Him, and when I try the problems only get worse and my relationships only become more strained. So, my fellow lover of darkness, let's pray for the grace this Year of Mercy to desire reconciliation and conversion. Let's pray for the grace to be willing to desire it! If you don't know what you are apologizing for, ask for some wisdom, and then take what you find to God. You won't have to run far. He's always chasing you!