Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Homily)
September 27, 2020 11:30 am · Father Sergio Muñoz Fita
The entire liturgy of the Church speaks to us today of Divine Mercy.
The collect prayer of the Holy Mass is wonderful. We began with these words:"O God, who manifested your almighty power above all by pardoning and showing mercy…". We pray something similar at funeral masses: "O God, whose nature is always to forgive and to show mercy…"
In the psalm, we heard: "remember that your compassion, O Lord, and your love are from old." Saint Paul has summed up the life of Christ by saying that he humbled himself to death and death on the cross. The Lord dies for the forgiveness of our sins and he wants to forgive us. In the first reading, the words of the prophet Ezekiel remind me of similar words from Saint Therese, whose feast we will celebrate this coming week, in which she says that God really has a very bad memory. In fact, when a sinner comes to his door loaded with innumerable sins and asks him sincerely for forgiveness, the Lord forgets all the wrong we have done and forgives us.
Both the Word of God and the liturgy of the Church today ask us to open our hearts to divine mercy, and the key to open that door is sincere repentance. We live in a terrible time in which man, in his pride, tries to justify his sin. This attitude is from Satan because whoever does not recognize evil as evil will never be able to ask for mercy and to receive the gift of forgiveness.
That is why as a priest I am very afraid of the attitude of someone who says,"I don't regret anything." Or the response of someone who, faced with a serious sin, says lightly, "Well, I think it's fine." I still remember the case of a person (not from here) whom I went to visit the hospital, shortly before he died. His family had called me to try to get him to receive the sacraments. When I was alone with him in the room, I spoke to him as best I could about God's mercy, about how much God enjoys forgiving us, and about the joy that it would bring God to hear him acknowledge his sins. He told me that he had not confessed for a long time and I made it very simple for him. I said," You just answer what I ask by saying yes or no, and you will see how quickly we’ll finish and how much peace there will be when we finish confessing." I cannot say what happened, but I left the hospital feeling as if I had seen in the soul of that dying man the face of the devil, and thinking, “Here is a man who knows that he is coming to the end of his life, who has received God's visit through the priest offering him grace for his salvation and begging him to open his heart to divine mercy and in response, he says that he does not regret anything. He refuses to ask the Lord for forgiveness. No, no and no".
Let us fear that kind of response and ask the Lord to never allow us to fall into something like that. God is very good. You can believe me on this. God is very good. He loves us so much. Desires our happiness more than we ourselves do. He wants us to return to Him and He seeks us everywhere, through the people and circumstances of our lives. Let us be children and run to our Father knowing that he is going to receive us with a big hug, he is going to kiss us with the greatest of joys, and he is going to give us the love and peace that our hearts truly desire.
May the Virgin Mary teach us true humility which is always a source of harmony, reconciliation, hope, peace and true happiness. May it grant us the grace to start over, especially in the Sacrament of Penance, and to live the joy of souls forgiven by the Lord.