I really like things my own way. I often have a specific way I believe things should be done and I am can be unwilling to listen to someone who has a different opinion than I do. And if I must forgive someone, look out. That is not always easy for me either.
This is why it is so important to know and feel the experience of God’s love. Sometimes we can believe that Jesus was just “a little better than us.” But that misses the truth about Jesus completely. His capacity to forgive is limitless because of his tremendous love. And all we have to do to access that love and forgiveness is to repent. To change. To recognize our sinfulness and turn away from it in contrition and sorrow.
But that is not always easy, because we can let our pride get into the way. We can refuse to see that people can change. We can fail to recognize that God always knows better, loves better and forgives better than we do. In fact, God’s limitless generosity can sometimes even make us mad.
Because when God forgives, we often want God to smite. When someone turns away from God in anger or selfishness, then repents, we want to take vengeance. And when God wants us to forgive, to repent, to turn away from sin and follow the gospel, we can too often find ways to avoid these things.
Think of the example we see in the parable of the Prodigal Son. The story is a choice between sons and fathers. The younger son fails, comes to his senses and seeks the father’s love. The older son falsely believes he is guiltless and gets angry. Which son are we? The one who trusts in the father’s limitless mercy when we repent, or the son who resents the generous love of God?
Let us pray.
Dear Jesus, All too often I am like the older son in the parable of the Prodigal Son, limiting your mercy and love because I can only see myself. Help me to see my sinfulness, that I may forgive others and experience your love and forgiveness fully and completely. I make this prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Music: Cheezy Piano Medley by Alexander Nakarada