Sisters > Welcome

“The Lord never tires of forgiving: never! 
It is we who tire of asking his forgiveness.”

Pope Francis

Have you ever left home for some time? For instance, leaving home to go to school, work, travel, etc… What was your homecoming experience like?  When thinking about this, the gospel parable of the Prodigal Son came to my mind.  The younger son decided to leave his father and family to enjoy life.  He went away and did everything that he wanted to do thoughtlessly.  However, life pitched him some curve balls and he struck out; ending up in a worse situation than before.  The gospel says he came to his senses and decided to return home.  He was surprised to be welcomed by his father with love and forgiveness.
I was away from my family when I went to college and when I entered the convent.  Every time I return home, I am welcomed with love.  There were times when I had decided to leave my heavenly Father with my sins and imprudent choices.  However, I find it easy to come home again through the Sacrament of Reconciliation and experience the Father’s embrace and forgiveness.  I can do that because I am confident that God loves me regardless of what I have done.  However, this coming home is not always easy for many people. In my ministry, I have encountered many Catholics who are no longer practicing their faith.  Some do not have the desire to come home, while others do not feel the need to come home.   They do not know or believe that their heavenly Father loves them dearly, and is waiting earnestly for their return.  It is very difficult to convince them that God loves them.  When I feel helpless, I recall Bishop Lambert’s conviction.  He strongly believed that God alone has the ability to change hearts; God often attaches the conversion of many souls to the sacrifices, acts of charity, and prayers of those who intercede for them.  Therefore, I feel encouraged with hope to fervently intercede for the coming home of my brothers and sisters everyday through a life of prayers, mortifications, and service.
Heavenly Father, through the intercession of Jesus Christ crucified, may all who have gone astray return home to your loving embrace. May we experience your compassion, mercy and forgiveness.  May we understand that you made us in your image and loves us, despite our shortcomings. May we come home to the reality of whom and whose we are to reclaim our gifts of the Kingdom and our place in your heart. Amen.