By Anni Harry


Prodigal Son



 “But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost,
Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience,
making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life.”
~ 1 Timothy 1:16


When I look back at my life before my reversion, I tend to cringe and feel full of shame. I have difficulty accepting those moments in which I may have spurned God’s outstretched arms, either by my actions or, sometimes more embarrassingly, by my inactions.

Yet, one word that doesn’t appear in today’s Gospel sticks out clearly when I consider being one of the lost. It’s a word that fills me with hope, with optimism, and with reassurance.


God is so very merciful.

Too often, the noise of life interferes with our ability to hear God clearly speaking to our hearts. We get busy, have obligations to meet, and begin to focus on the lists and tasks ahead of us.

However, the merciful God knows, and He responds by joining us and coming along with us on our journey.

He meets us in our friends, in the moments with our family that call us to patience, humility, and gentleness, and He meets us in the stranger along our pathway.

At every opportunity He places for our hearts to recognize Him, we have a choice – to see Him in others or to turn our backs.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines mercy as “The loving kindness, compassion, or forbearance shown to one who offends (e.g., the mercy of God to us sinners).”

Unending Love

As today’s Gospel very clearly reminds us – our Creator, Who loves us immeasurably, delights in us, and offers us nothing but mercy.

Yet, mercy isn’t just given to us. As recipients of God’s unending love, we are also expected to extend mercy to others.

Mercy toward others reminds us to have patience, even when our life is hectic. It reminds us that just as we are forgiven, so, too, should we forgive others. Merciful love challenges us to recognize God in the men, women, and children who surround us every day, whether we know them or whether they are strangers we encounter on our path toward heaven.

Mercy also strengthens us to share the Good News and to invite others into our churches, and our living faith as witnesses to the radical love only found through Christ.

The Gospel encourages us, and dare I say, challenges each of us, to accept God’s mercy, proclaim His mercy in our lives and extend that mercy to others.


Heavenly Father, thank You for Your unending, merciful love. Grant me the strength and courage always to be loving and merciful to others and to recognize You in each person that crosses my path. I ask this through Your Son, Jesus Christ, Who suffered, died, and rose so that I may have eternal life with You. Amen.

Call to Action

 The questions to ponder this week are: Have you recognized and accepted God’s mercy? How will you extend mercy to others?


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