By Linda Bordoni
Addressing the faithful present for morning Mass on Thursday, Pope Francis said that to seek the Sacrament of Penance is not like going to the Laundromat to wash away the dirt, it is to receive God’s loving embrace.
As we approach Holy Week, the Pope reiterated that the Lord is ever faithful and that he never forgets us, and this, he said, gives us reason to rejoice and to hope.
Referring to the first liturgical reading of the day from the Book of Genesis, he recalled God’s promise to maintain his covenant with Abraham, a covenant, the Pope said, He will remember forever.
God’s love is as visceral as that of a mother and a father
God’s “visceral love”, Francis said, is such that He will never forget. And recalling the blue and purple “forget-me-not” flowers that are offered in Argentina for ‘Mothers’ Day’, he said that the purple ones are for those mothers who are deceased:
“God’s love is like the love of a mother. He never forgets us. Never. He is faithful to his covenant. This gives us security” and even in moments of difficulty we can be sure that He has not forgotten us, he said.
The Sacrament of Penance is not like going to the Laundromat
God’s faithfulness, Pope Francis continued, leads us to joy. Like Abraham our joy stems from being able to rejoice in hope because each of us knows that even if we are not faithful, God is, as illustrated in the episode of the Good Thief:
“God cannot disown himself, he cannot disown us, he cannot disown his love, and he cannot disown his people” the Pope said: “because He loves us and this is the faithfulness of God”.
Francis then reflected on the fact that when we seek the Sacrament of Penance we must not do so as if we were going to the Laundromat to wash away the dirt: “No. We go to Confession to receive the love of this faithful God who always awaits us. Always”.