Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I tell you… there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance. (Luke 15)

The parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son remind us of the infinite mercy of God and his desire for all people to come to repentance and salvation. As we celebrate the year of mercy, we are particularly reminded of the invitation to approach the mercy of God, and to be agents of mercy towards others.

If you are in need of mercy, we invite you to trust in God and in the special way he has chosen to communicate that mercy: through the Sacrament of Reconciliation or “confession”. That is what the prodigal son did when he confessed his offenses to his father. He “came to his senses”, returned to his father and said, “I have sinned against God and against you.”  That’s what we do in the sacrament of Reconciliation: We admit our own wrong and promptly receive the forgiveness of God. “His Father caught sight of him and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.” The father’s actions exemplify what God does for us through the priest in confession, and what we are to be for one another when others turn to us for mercy.”