You have to love the statement by Paul today in his letter to Timothy, “This statement is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”
By the way folks… the sinners – that is all of us! At our Baptism we shared in the great love of God for us. A Love that is, it seems, beyond our full comprehension.
At our Baptism we shared in the life, death & resurrection of Jesus.
At our Baptism we share in the gift of eternal life.
But it needs to be said, that we can at times either take advantage of God’s love for us, or we can at times excuse ourselves for our “lack of faithfulness” to our God, all the while expecting a high level of response from another or others.
One might ask, what is God expecting from us as a person, family and Parish. What is God expecting from me? In what ways is God waiting for me to “change in my life?”
Some times when our “sin is great” as we see in the people of Israel who worshiped a molten calf, or as we see in St. Paul, a person who persecuted Christians; we think we cannot be forgiven.
As one Scripture Scholar reminds us, the stories of today’s scripture readings are meant to assure all of us, sinners that we are, that God is “crazy in love over each individual human being and rejoices exuberantly over finding one that has been lost.”
Simply put: God’s grace and mercy are far greater than any sin, even the greatest sin!
It may be hard for us at times to really believe that GOD loves us, that God will forgive us, that God and all in Heaven want to celebrate our coming home to God, our Father.
But he does…
And, by the way, there are times in our lives when you and I must be the visible face of a loving and merciful God to others. As Disciples of Jesus, we too bring the mercy and love of God to life.
Just maybe, the message our God would ask us to hear today is two-fold:
1) Continue to grow in a deepening appreciation of my (God’s) eternal love and mercy for you and others…
2) Strive daily to mirror “my love and mercy” (asks God) through your conversations and your actions, with everyone you encounter and interact with daily.