The Gladness of God: Weekly Message for 04-11-2023

Dear Friends,

For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

In Dostoevsky’s novel, “The Idiot,” Prince Mishkin observes a young woman and her baby and we’re told, “She was quite a young woman, and the baby was about six weeks old. The baby smiled at her for the first time… I saw her crossing herself with great devotion. ‘What are you doing’ [I asked the woman]. [She replied] ‘God has just such gladness every time he sees from heaven that a sinner is praying to Him with all her heart, as a mother has when she sees the first  smile on her baby’s face.’”

A gripping image, that. God has just such gladness when he sees us sinners praying to him with all our hearts as a mother has when she sees the first smile on her baby’s face.

Along those lines, it’s worth considering which sacrament Jesus instituted on the evening of Easter Sunday. Amid victorious Paschal joy, Jesus gives his Church the sacrament of Reconciliation (Cf. John 20). This cannot be an accident. It is, in fact, the fulfillment of Jesus’ words in Luke 15:7, that “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

And, in lovely symmetry, the Church placed Divine Mercy Sunday exactly one week after Easter. When we seek Christ’s forgiveness in the sacrament of Reconciliation, we receive the Risen Lord’s power, his love, and his joy.

Taste and see how good the Lord is… He takes delight in his people… He has given his people knowledge of salvation in the forgiveness of their sins… Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” (Psalm 34, Psalm 140, Luke 1:77, Philippians 4:7).

Yours in Christ,

Fr. John Pietropaoli, LC

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One Comment
  1. Thank you so much Father John. As a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother seeing the smile on all those babies for the first time always made my heart want to burst with such great love. As the sinner that I am, I will approach God with greater trust knowing a little deeper His great love for me. Many blessings to you.🙏🕊❤️

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