MI 7:14-15, 18-20; PS 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12; LK 15:1-3, 11-32
Reflection: Today we read a well-known story in scripture, the story of the prodigal son. We see one of the fathers sons take all that he has been given and use it to buy and experience many earthly joys. Once he has spent all that he had, he realizes what he has done and the great sins he has committed. Trusting in his father’s love and forgiveness, he return to a father who is overjoyed to have his son back. Our Father in heaven has this same compassion and love for us every time we return and seek forgiveness for our sins. It brings Him great joy when we recognize our sins, turn from our sinful ways, and return to Him to seek forgiveness. God pardons our sins and “casts them into the depths of the sea” and deals with us with love instead of according to our sins.
Reflection for younger saints: Today we read a story about a father who loved his son so much that he forgave him for all his sins and welcomed him back home. God loves us just as much as that father loved his son. No matter what mistakes we make God loves us and will forgive us.
Big Picture: God is a loving and forgiving Father
Younger saints: Are there any sins God doesn’t forgive? (As long as we recognize our sins and seek forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, God will always forgive us and love us.) What must we do to receive God’s forgiveness? (Examine our conscience and come to Him in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.)
Older saints: Today we are reminded of the love and forgiveness of our Father in heaven. What is the first step we must take to receive His forgiveness? (We must examine our conscience and recognize the sins in our life.) Then what must we do? (Seek forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.) Can we obtain forgiveness on our own and without the Sacrament of Reconciliation? (No. The priest we make our confession to takes the place of Jesus in hearing our confession. We must speak our sins aloud to that priest, who is acting for Christ, in order to receive forgiveness for our sins.) Are there any sins that are “too bad” for God to forgive? (No, as long as we come to Him in the Sacrament of Reconciliation with humble and contrite hearts, our sins will be forgiven.) When was the last time you received the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
Fun Fact: There are two types of sin which we can commit: venial sin and mortal sin. Do you know the difference?
Saint of the day:
Name: Saint Agnes of Bohemia
What they are remembered for: St. Agnes of Bohemia was a daughter of noble blood, but after declining three proposals of marriage she chose to be wed to our Lord through entering into the religious life. She built a hospital for the poor, a house for friars, and financed the building of a monastery that she later was chosen as abbess of. Our of her humble nature she did not desire this leadership role, but took it on and continued a position of service to the members of the monastery through cooking and other service.
Feast day: March 2