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

Missing The Point of Easter Watch

Image of Alex Basile is the Religion Department chair at Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, NY. He has written nine books for Saint Pauls/Alba House. www.alexbasile.net

By Alex Basile

Author Alex Basile reflects of the true meaning of the Resurrection of Christ and how many Christians overlook the real joy of Easter. In the haziness of the first Easter morning, Mary Magdalene made her way to tomb of her friend and teacher. Fighting back tears and ... continue reading


The Happy Priest on Easter: He Has Truly Risen, We Are Free From Fear Watch

Image of

By Fr. James Farfaglia

With the resurrection of Jesus, the physical is exalted.  When we truly believe in Jesus, we are resurrected in this life because we are freed from the fear and worry that are characteristic of a godless life; we are freed from the unhappiness of a life filled ... continue reading


The Power of the Resurrection in our Lives: Christ Is Risen; Indeed, He Is Risen! Watch

Image of

By F. K. Bartels

There is great cause for belief in the Resurrection. One of the most wonderful tenets of Catholicism and the true Christian religion the Church transmits, is that the Resurrection is a historical event. We do not believe Christ is resurrected only because we are told ... continue reading


Easter: Through the Octave and Beyond! Watch

Image of

By Randy Sly

While Easter is a Solemnity and an Octave Feast, it is also a 50-day journey until Pentecost. We continue to remember his resurrection with special devotion. Saint Augustine shares this perspective: "The season before Easter signifies the troubles in which we ... continue reading


Holy Saturday: 'Make Sure He's Dead' Watch

Image of God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear

By Fr. Randy Sly

Just as the Chief Priests and Pharisees gathered with Pilate to plan on keeping the tomb sealed and guarded with Christ inside, many today want to place a stone in the entrance of the Church, to keep him inside again. On Holy Saturday we remember that no matter how ... continue reading


HOLY SATURDAY: The Whole Earth Keeps Silence Watch

Image of The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all ... continue reading


Good Friday: The Church Born From the Wounded Side of Christ Pauses at the Cross Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Christ has flooded the universe with divine and sanctifying waves. For the thirsty, he sends a spring of living water from the wound, which the spear opened in His Side. From the wound in Christ's side has come forth the Church, and He has made her His Bride. ... continue reading


Good Friday Reflection on the Logic of the Cross Watch

Image of Benedict says,

By Michael Terheyden

Pope Francis said something during his first general audience that inspired me to reflect on the suffering Jesus endured during his Passion for the sake of our redemption. He said, "Living Holy Week means increasingly entering into God's logic, the logic of the Cross. ... continue reading


Reflection on the Nature of Sin for Good Friday Watch

Image of The Gospel of John reminds us that

By Michael Terheyden

KNOXVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - The Passion of Christ represents the most atrocious miscarriage of justice in all of human history. So when we come face to face with the crucified Christ on Good Friday, it is only natural for us to reflect on the nature of sin.I ... continue reading


Thursday of the Lord's Supper: Christ Loved His Own To the End

Image of Christ proves his love by giving his life.

By F. K. Bartels

The entire meaning of Lent, Holy Thursday, the Easter Triduum, can be summed up in this sentence from the gospel of John, "He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end," since it speaks about the entire content of the life and mission of Jesus Christ; ... 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, First Kings 3:4-13
4 The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, since that was the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
9 How can a young man keep his way spotless? By keeping your ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 6:30-34
30 The apostles rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 6th, 2016 Image

St. Paul Miki
February 6: Paul was the son of a Japanese military leader. ... Read More