Father of Mercies: Weekly Message for 02-02-16

Dear Friends in Christ,

If ever we needed a reminder of God’s mercy, it is now.

After years of news about terrorism and social breakdown, the coming of the Year of Mercy is a welcome respite. It reminds us that our God is a God of love and mercy, not a deity of doom and destruction.

His love prompted him to send his Son for our redemption, and that redemption cost him his precious blood on Calvary. Jesus’ sacrifice could have guaranteed all of us a place in paradise. But God in his wisdom wants us do our part. He invites us to respond to his grace in all the decisions we make.

One of those decisions involves our response in the face of our own sins. For talk of a merciful God triggers an immediate question: What is he so merciful about?

He is merciful about our sins. We are sinners. We mess up, sometimes to the point of putting our souls at risk of eternal lost. That is one of the most sobering realities of life.

Which is why this Year of Mercy isn’t one of those ho-hum events that you might gloss over in a parish bulletin. It touches on something that needs to shape each of our lives as well as the life of societies: repentance.

Doing this timely retreat, Father of Mercies: A Lenten Retreat Guide on the Prodigal Son might be a fitting way to launch into Lent and to understand better the heart of God.

You might want to encourage a friend or family member to do the online retreat, too. Think of it as an aid for their eternal salvation. A true act of mercy.

God bless,

Father Edward McIlmail, L.C.
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