Monday, November 16, 2015

When did you last visited the confessional? Misericordia is waiting for you - Daily Reflections November 16,2015

The Gospel today opens with the line, “As Jesus drew near Jericho.” Many times in the Gospels, Jesus is shown as heading towards Jericho. Jericho is one of the most well-known places in the Bible. Biblical scholars tell us that Jericho has the reputation of a city of sin. It was the popular city destroyed when the Israelites entered the Promised Land. Mentioning Jericho is not merely a geographical detail of a story. It conveys a theological lesson worth pondering on.
       Religious leaders in Jesus’ time were not found in places of sin. They were not supposed to associate with sinners, lest they be contaminated and rendered impure. Jesus went and passed through Jericho — that city of sin — many times. He did not go around it. He did not avoid it. Why? Because that is precisely His mission: “I came not to call the righteous but the sinners” (Luke 5:32); “Healthy people do not need a doctor, sick people do” (Mark 2:17).
       This is why the Gospel is really good news. We do not have to hide from God as Adam and Eve did after knowing that they sinned (see Genesis 3:8-10). We do not have to prop ourselves up and make us “presentable” for Him notice us. We do not have to make up stories that will justify us before Him. It is our misery that attracts Jesus to us. Paradoxically, it is our sin that attracts Him towards us. Mercy is attracted by misery.
       The Latin for mercy is misericordia, which means a heart that goes out for misery. God’s love for us sinners spring from within this heart, not from what He finds in us. God loves us because He chooses to do so, because He is misericordia.
       Do you want to return that love? Do you want to give back to that love? Give up your sin; after all, that is the only thing that is really your own. And that is the only thing God really wants from you — that He may redeem it, for everything else in you comes from Him anyway. Fr. Joel Jason
REFLECTION QUESTION: When did you last visited the confessional? Misericordia is waiting for you.
Have mercy on me, God, in Your kindness; and in Your compassion, blot out my offense. Amen.

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