Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Archbishop Jose Gomez

3/12/2013 (2 years ago)

The Tidings (www.the-tidings.com)

God's mercy and forgiveness are the essential message of the Gospel

Our culture has become a culture of complaint and righteous anger - where people are quick to condemn and quick to judge. Our culture has become a culture of no forgiveness. We have to watch out that we don't get caught up in this. Our Christian faith should always make us different. We have to try to be people of pardon and peace. People of mercy and forgiveness.

Archbishop Jose Gomez of the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Archbishop Jose Gomez of the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Highlights

By Archbishop Jose Gomez

The Tidings (www.the-tidings.com)

3/12/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Lent / Easter

Keywords: Forgiveness, mercy Los Angeles Archdiocese, mercy, Catholic faith, virtue, repentance, Archbishop Jose Gomez


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - We need to become better at forgiveness. That is one of the messages we hear in our Gospel readings as we approach the half-way point of this holy season of Lent.

In one of the Gospels this week, St. Peter asks Jesus how many times he has to forgive someone. And Jesus tells him, "Seventy times seven times." In other words, every time. And the Gospel for this coming Sunday is the parable of the Prodigal Son, which is a beautiful lesson in God's mercy and forgiveness.

This is a lesson that we all need to learn more and more.

We ask God for this grace every day in the prayer that Jesus taught us - Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

But how hard it is for us to live these words! How easy it becomes for us to fall into critical judgments of others.

It is true we can find a lot that deserves criticism. There are many sinners and many scandals and injustices in our world.

This was true also in Jesus' time. But he came to show us a different way. And it is urgent these days that we try harder to live this different way of Jesus Christ.

Our culture has become a culture of complaint and righteous anger - where people are quick to condemn and quick to judge. Our culture has become a culture of no forgiveness.

We have to watch out that we don't get caught up in this. Our Christian faith should always make us different. We have to try to be people of pardon and peace. People of mercy and forgiveness.

God's mercy and forgiveness are the essential message of the Gospel. Jesus came "to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins," the Gospel tells us.

Jesus was very clear - the mercy we seek from God must be the mercy that we show to others.

In the new evangelization of this culture, we are called to make mercy and forgiveness our message and our witness to the world.

The world is looking for Jesus Christ. And when people go looking for him, they are going to turn naturally to those of us who say we know him. To those of us who say we believe in Jesus and live according to his Word and his example.

What do they find when they look at us? Do they see Jesus? Do they find a reflection of God's own mercy and forgiveness?

Lent is a time for us to be honest with ourselves. It's easy to see the faults of others. But it's also easy to forget how often we disappoint God by our own lack of love, by our own failures to be faithful.

In our Christian lives we are always stretching towards Jesus and the holiness he calls us to. And we know that we fall down all the time.

But every time we fail, we have forgiveness. God's mercy is always there for us. His judgments are kind. They are the judgments of a Father who loves us.

Can we say the same thing about our own judgments? About our thoughts and words about those who are in our lives or in the news?

We will bring more people to Jesus through our mercy and forgiveness than through our critical judgments - no matter how right we might be and no matter how wrong the other person might be.

To forgive is to make an act of faith. When we forgive, we aren't forgetting or excusing the sins of the past. By our forgiveness, we are saying that we believe God is the only judge.

Our task as Christians is not to judge. Jesus said, Judge not and you will not be judged (Luke 6: 37). He calls us to forgive the sinner and to repair the damage done by his sin. We are called to bring sinners to God, to right the wrongs they have committed, and to heal the wounds and divisions they have caused.

So this week, as we continue to pray for our Church and our new Pope, let us pray for the grace to be people of true mercy and forgiveness.

We need to remember that we are all sinners, some of us worse than others. But all of us stand in need of God's mercy. This is the beauty of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is God's school of love, where we experience his mercy, which is the mercy he wants us to extend to others.

So let's ask our Blessed Mother Mary, the Mother of Mercy and the Refuge of Sinners, to help us be people of forgiveness who are building a society of merciful love and justice.

---

This story was made available to Catholic Online by permission of The Tidings (www.the-tidings.com), official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.



Comments


More Lent / Easter

Can you answer these four challenging questions about Lent?

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Take our Lent quiz! See how much you know about the tradition of Lent! Take our Lent quiz, then challenge your friends. See how much you know about this special season in the Liturgical year. The quiz has just a few questions, but will certainly provide a quick ... continue reading


The Way of the Cross continues on Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

In his strong identification with the poor and vulnerable, Jesus makes it perfectly clear that when we meet the needs of these least brothers and sisters, we are ultimately serving him. And when we - as individuals, churches, states and nations - do not adequately meet ... continue reading


Take this thought provoking Stations of the Cross survey

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

How familiar are you with the Stations of the Cross? Take the Catholic Online survey now to share your answers to our questions. Your responses will help us serve you better by tailoring content that suits your needs. The survey is short and should take just 1 minute ... continue reading


'God hasn't forsaken me': Church of England to release short films addressing serious topics for Lent and Easter Watch

Image of The Church of England plans to launch a JustPray campaign throughout Lent, with its final video released on Easter Sunday (Shutterstock).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Church of England is set to launch its latest campaign called the "Psalm 22 project," which will feature stories of former homeless and ex drug addicts who tackled some of life's most difficult trials. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Psalm 22 refers to the ... continue reading


10 important things to consider during Lent Watch

Image of What are our options during Lent? (Shutterstock)

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Every year we give something up for Lent. Sometimes picking what to give up is hard and other times we consider doing something extra to really immerse ourselves in what God has for us - but what are our options? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Lent isn't just ... continue reading


5 little-known facts about Lent you need to learn this Ash Wednesday Watch

Image of Lent is more than just fasting (Rhoy Cobilla, InterAksyon.com).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Everyone knows that Mardi Gras kicks off the upcoming 40-day Lent, which honors the time Jesus fasted in the wilderness, but did you know there is more to it? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Recently the Independent released their list of "5 things you might not ... continue reading


Ash Wednesday: 'Seek To Experience God's Presence Within' Watch

Image of

By F. K. Bartels

"You may ask me: 'But, does God exist? And if he exists does he really concern himself with us? Can we reach him?' It is, indeed, true that we cannot place God on the table, we cannot touch him or pick him up like an ordinary object. We must rediscover our capacity to ... continue reading


POPE'S MASS: Ash Wednesday (FULL TEXT: English) Watch

Image of

By Pope Francis, Libreria Editrice Vaticana

The unofficial English translation to Pope Francis' prepared homily for the 2016 Ash Wednesday Mass: The Word of God, the beginning of the Lenten journey, addressed to the Church and to each of us invitations.The first is that of St. Paul: " Be reconciled to God " ( ... continue reading


Pope Francis' special Ash Wednesday message for 'Keep Lent' initiative Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis sent out his first audio message for "Keep Lent" over social media. 'Keep Lent' is an initiative of the Prelature of the Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii's youth ministry office. According to the Vatican Radio, "The initiative begins on Ash ... continue reading


Fat Tuesday - Mardi Gras Meant to Be More than a Party Watch

Image of Some have tried to argue that this term meant that people should discard their moral faith commitments and for the night and just

By Fr. Randy Sly

One could call this celebration the last gasp of Ordinary time as the Church anticipates the penitential Season of the forty days of Lent. Rich foods are consumed as pilgrims prepare for times of fasting, abstinence, confession and penance. Ironically, carnival ... continue reading


All Lent / Easter News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 58:1-9
1 Shout for all you are worth, do not hold back, raise your voice like a ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 18-19
3 For I am well aware of my offences, my sin is constantly in ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:14-15
14 Then John's disciples came to him and said, 'Why is it that we and the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 12th, 2016 Image

St. Buonfiglio Monaldo
February 12: He was one of seven Florentines who had joined ... Read More