It’s not often that all three Sunday Mass readings have the same overriding theme, but that is the case this coming Sunday. The common theme therein is the abundant and gratuitous mercy of God, which is happily available to every human person without exception. In the Old Testament text from Exodus 32, mercy is extended to the disobedient Israelites through the intercession of Moses.
In the New Testament reading from 1 Timothy 1, St. Paul expresses his deep gratitude to Jesus for extending mercy to him, in spite of the fact that he had been “a blasphemer and a persecutor” of Christians. And finally, in our Gospel passage, Jesus tells the parables of the Lost Sheep and the Prodigal Son.
These readings are an invitation from the Holy Spirit to seek the Lord’s mercy in our own lives. Yes, the gift of mercy is offered to everyone, but it’s received only by those who are humble enough to admit they need it (like St. Paul), and who have the good sense to reach out for it — especially in the sacrament of reconciliation.
Perhaps you have not been to confession in a very long time — years or even decades. If that’s the case, allow these readings this Sunday to give you a firm but gentle “nudge” toward the confessional.
You have nothing to lose but your sins.