Luke 15:1-32 I Am In Love
Some time ago I was traveling nearby Chicago and I contacted a young lady who is very dear to me; like a daughter, to see how she was doing. I hadn't seen her for a while and I told her that I would be driving to the airport with a family and hoped to see her before leaving Chicago. She was excited to receive the text and asked if she could go to confession before I left. I thought it would be impossible, but God knows better! I let her know that I would be arriving at the airport and would have an hour before my flight. This young lady went out of her way to get to the airport, pay for parking (she said it only cost a dollar! I told her she would have to confess that lie), and wait patiently for my arrival. Before I knew it my cell phone battery was dying and I could no longer communicate with her. But it wasn't necessary, she had found the terminal and I had found her. I saw her immediately! She, as well as I, was over flowing with joy! I thought to myself, "She went through all this trouble; all this expense; all this just for a confession!" She made my week, my month and dare I say it, my year! I can truly understand the words of the Lord, "Behold, there will be more rejoicing over one repentant sinner than for the ninety-nine who are in no need of repentance!"
Who among us could ever deny the fact that we are sinners? The Lord calls all of us to confession, conversion and communion! But not all respond to the immense joy that awaits us! Confession is the opening of one's heart to the brutal facts of who I am and what I have done! It can be very mathematical, almost analytical, but it is a necessary first step in witnessing firsthand the Hand of God in my life! The Lord calls me to conversion; to turn around; to "rise and return to the Father's house" which will eventually lead me into the Father's arms! How I am in need of God's constant love and mercy! How I need to know that there is someone out there that will not judge me but love me even more than before! The Gospel tells us today that there was a feast with hugs and kisses! The feast for us is the Holy Mass!
This young lady left the airport and decided to attend Mass. It had been a while since she had gone. What she heard that day was today's readings. It shocked her! She sent me a text afterwards that read:
"So the readings were about the one repentant sinner."
I replied: "Isn't that awesome! Kind of makes you think how God loves you. The Mass was just for you!"
"You really think God would have a Mass just for me?"
"Yes! I do! Was it not a miracle that I was in Chicago today, that I heard your confession, then you went to Mass, and then you heard these readings? I know that it sounds impossible to your ears but I know in my heart that God loves you!"
"You are crazy but I trust you for now."
Yes, it does sound crazy: that the Lord would have a feast just for me, a sinner, who lost everything except his way back to the Father's house.