I was listening to the bishop this morning at his daily mass. He preached the readings, and he spoke about how God responds to us when we sin and don’t do what we are supposed to do. He made the comparison to parents whose child does something wrong. They may be mad at them, but it is an anger more out of love. They want what is best for their child, and they fell short of that. He made the point God is the same way with us. He may be disappointed when we sin, but his response to us is one of love and forgiveness.
His homily reminds me of a show that I have been watching called madam secretary. Without spoiling too much, the secretary’s son gets in trouble for getting in a fight. They are disappointed and push him to apologize to the kid he fought. He apologizes but not in the exact way the school was hoping for. He was standing up for his mother, and he wasn’t sorry for that. Then the secretary stands up for her son. It reminded me of the love parents have for their children. Things didn’t go their way, but they were still there standing beside him. He did something wrong, and they made sure he knew that, but they still loved him and stood up for him.
We find in our Gospel the story of the woman caught in adultery. Jesus draws in the sand and tells the onlookers. “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” No one picks up a stone, and everyone goes away. Then Jesus and the woman have an encounter. “‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, ‘No one, sir.’ Then Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.’” A powerful encounter, the woman was to be stoned, but Jesus had mercy and forgave her.
I want to leave you with what the Church teaches about the forgiveness of sin during this pandemic. Pope Francis spoke about what to do if we have no access to a priest and the sacrament of confession.
“Do what the Catechism (of the Catholic Church) says. It is very clear: If you cannot find a priest to confess to, speak directly with God, your father, and tell him the truth. Say, ‘Lord, I did this, this, this. Forgive me,’ and ask for pardon with all your heart.”
Make an act of contrition, the pope said, and promise God, “‘I will go to confession afterward, but forgive me now.’ And immediately you will return to a state of grace with God.”https://www.thebostonpilot.com/article.asp?ID=187180
I encourage all of us if we don’t have the opportunity to go to confession, and we feel there is a need to go. Follow the Pope’s words and go to God. Remember that we need to resolve to go to confession as soon as possible.