Fourth Sunday of Lent

Admitting we are wrong is an extremely difficult thing. Not only are we proud and unwilling to admit a mistake. We also live in a world of competing egos who put themselves forward, and are looking for any chink in our armor for a chance to attack us. The human condition. But there are surprises, pleasant surprises in life –

I have heard that when St. John Paul II was Archbishop of Krakow, a priest came to him who had found himself in a difficult, embarrassing situation, one for which he could be properly disciplined, even severely. The story goes that Archbishop Wojtyla heard the priest’s confession, and as the priest got up and was ready to leave, took the stole from his neck and gave it to the penitent and asked; “now will you hear my confession?”

So it was with the prodigal son: he received unexpected, undeserved mercy, which is, of course, what mercy is all about. May we pleasantly surprise our debtors when they repent and come asking forgiveness – and may we begin to practice that forgiveness in our hearts, even before our debtors come before us. May they find an open-hearted welcome on our faces, in our hearts.

March 6th, 2016