“Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance; Who does not persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency,
And will again have compassion on us, treading underfoot our guilt? You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins.” Micah 7:18-19
Read those verses again…no really, go back and read them again…
Is this Good News or what?! God’s compassion and mercy for us is truly amazing! Most of us have only experienced conditional love and most of us only give conditional love. We are so human! Which is why we need to grow in holiness and become more like Jesus.
Think of the impact each of our lives can have when we offer kindness instead of anger; when we forgive someone and really mean it. When we don’t hold grudges, but let love cover the past. Humility is the key here. When we see how much God has forgiven us, it’s easier to offer that same forgiveness to others. God even delights in being merciful and lenient with us. Can we do the same?
Someone once said, “God casts all of our sins into the depth of the sea and then posts a sign that says, ‘No fishing.’” Isn’t this the very thing the father in today’s Gospel offered his wayward son? Even though the son acted as if his father was dead by asking for his inheritance, and even though the son then squandered that inheritance, the father ran to meet him and acted as if none of that mattered. All that mattered was that his son was ok and had come home again. Not only should we not beat ourselves up for past sins that we have confessed, but we also shouldn’t hold others’ sins against them.
Let’s rejoice today in the power of forgiveness, in the awesome, unbelievable love of God for each one of us. And then let us delight in offering that love to the people who cross our paths today and every day.
Janice Carleton and her husband Jim live in Bainbridge Island, Washington, and partner with Passionist Fr. Cedric Pisegna in Fr. Cedric Ministries. She is the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother of 6. Janice also leads women’s retreats and recently published her second book: God IS with Us. Visit Janice’s website at http://www.janicecarleton.com/ or email her at [email protected].