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Allocution, March 27, IV Sunday of Lent

Today, March 27, the Fourth Sunday of Lent, we hear in all the Catholic Churches of the world the parable of the kind father who forgives his children, who make him suffer. This passage is found in chapter 15 of Saint Luke.

(GOSPEL)

The parable of the bad son who runs away from his kind father reminds us of all the children who abandon their parents, of all the fathers who do not want to know about their children or the mother of their children, of the brothers who They fight for an inheritance and make the family suffer, the neighbors who become enemies and involve the families; to those who left God and left their churches. All of them, in the early days of estrangement, were happy, but it always happens that, as time goes by, nostalgia comes and the memory of the first love, the memory of the happiness enjoyed together with union and concord, the failure of estrangement from one another is confirmed. those who truly love us and then the desire to return to what we experienced begins, which is the beginning of those who return.

It is difficult to return to our original happiness, because it means recognizing that we made a mistake… and we return semi-destroyed as a person and it saddens us to realize that we made us suffer a lot, but it turns out that when we turn around, our family, friends, and church receive us with joy and joy. welcome that we did not expect and we notice that the celebration of all of them when they see us is greater than ours, which lifts us up, recovers us and, despite the pain of what was done wrong, we begin a new life. On our return we could find criticism from some who call us brazen, and those who receive us are called fools, just as happened in the parable with the eldest son of the kind father. But the important thing is that God and those who love us are celebrating, and they hug us and even dance with us.

In these days of Lent, when there are only twenty days left until the beginning of Holy Week, if someone is far from God, from their family, from their brothers, friends and neighbors… they begin their return. Everyone is waiting for you; and it will cause more happiness in heaven, in the house, in the family and in all those who wait for them, than what they experienced before leaving.

Jesus lived many situations like these, he did not wait for the return of those who distanced themselves from God, he went to look for them, find them, lift them up. He looked for Mateo, frowned upon for being an unjust tax collector, he received the public sinner in the house of Simon the Pharisee, he invited himself to eat at the house of Saqueo, worse than Mateo; He forgave Peter, who denied him three times. Jesus’ approach is not something occasional, it is his style of acting. He is close to saving those marked by evil and despised by society. Jesus offers them his support, heals them, helps them ask for forgiveness, instills new hope in them. All of Jesus’ actions imply faith in the forgiveness and goodness of God the Merciful Father, slow to anger and rich in mercy.

If you know people who are far from God and family love, place their names on the crucifix in your home or church, and listen to Jesus saying: “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do.” We pray with Saint Ambrose of Milan: “Come, Jesus, look for me. Look for the lost sheep. Come, shepherd, leave the 99 and look for the one that is lost. Come to me, I’m far away. The wolf hunt threatens me. Look for me, find me, welcome me, take me. You can find the one you are looking for, pick him up and carry him. Come and take me in your footsteps. Come yourself; there will be personal liberation and joy in heaven.” Amen.

(SINGING)

This time of Lent is ideal to return and get closer to God. The best way is to receive God’s forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation or confession. The penitent’s own acts are:

Examination of conscience: We see how life went with the guidance of the Ten Commandments.

Pain for the evil committed and for the good that was not done.

Repentance: Purpose not to sin again.

Tell the sins to the priest who represents God: The priest is obliged, without any exception, to keep absolute secrecy about the confessed sins.

Satisfaction, that is, the fulfillment of certain acts of penance that the confessor indicates to the penitent to repair the damage caused by sin.

And after confession, God is more joyful than ourselves. Nowhere has Jesus expressed, in a more beautiful way, what happens in the Sacrament of Penance than in the parable of the kind father, chapter 15 of the Gospel of Luke.

“Voice of Jesus: you called me when I walked away from you; arms of Jesus: you lifted me up when I slipped and fell; heart of Jesus: you loved me even when I sinned.”

(SINGING)

The Pope said last Sunday:

“Jesus knows that converting is not easy and he wants to help us. He knows that many times we fall back into the same mistakes and the same sins, that we become discouraged and, perhaps, it seems to us that our efforts for good are useless, in a world where evil seems to reign. And then, after his call, he encourages us with a parable that illustrates God’s patience. We must think about the patience of God, the patience that God has with us. Jesus offers us the consoling image of a fig tree that does not bear fruit within the established period, but whose owner does not cut it down, gives it more time, gives it another possibility. I like to think that a beautiful name for God would be: “The God who gives another Possibility.” He always gives us another chance. Always. Always. This is his mercy, this is how the Lord does with us, he does not distance us from his love, he does not become discouraged, he does not tire of giving us confidence with tenderness. Brothers and sisters, God believes in us, God trusts us and accompanies us with patience: God’s patience with us. He does not get discouraged, but always puts hope in us. God is Father and looks at you like a Father, like the best of Dads. He does not see the results that you have not yet achieved, but rather the fruits that you can bear. It does not keep track of your faults, but rather enhances your possibilities. It doesn’t dwell on your past, but rather confidently bets on your future. Because God is close, he is at our side. It is God’s style, let us not forget: closeness. He is close with mercy and tenderness, so God accompanies us. He is close, merciful and tender. Let us, therefore, ask the Virgin Mary to instill in us hope and courage, and to kindle in us the desire for conversion.”

We pray with Father Benjamín González Buelta: “I alone, what can I be? One day I chose to be a reflection without sun, water without a source, a voice without a throat and I got lost in myself. You kept me sun in your eyes, water in your hands, voice in your ear and I found myself in you. Since then you illuminate me, you fertilize me, you pronounce me and I find you in me. I alone, what can I be?”

After confession, the Word of God tells us in the Second Letter to the Corinthians chapter five verses 17 to 21.

(GOSPEL)

This is the second reading of today’s liturgy, which tells us, in summary: a clean slate.

(SINGING)

On March 25, the Pope consecrated our people, the Church and all of humanity, especially to Russia and Ukraine. We pray a fragment of this prayer:

“Accept, oh Mother, our supplication. You, star of the sea, do not let us be shipwrecked in the storm of war. You, ark of the new alliance, inspire projects and paths of reconciliation. You, land of heaven, bring God’s harmony back to the world, extinguish hatred, appease revenge, teach us to forgive, free us from war, preserve the world from the nuclear threat. Queen of the Rosary, awaken in us the need to pray and love. Queen of the human family. shows the people the path of brotherhood. Queen of Peace, choose peace for the world.”

And God’s Blessing for all. We bow our heads to receive it. At the end of each invocation we pray: Amen.

God, Merciful Father, grant you all, like the son who returned, the joy of returning to your father’s house… Amen.

Christ, model of prayer and life, guide us to the authentic conversion of the heart through the path of Lent… Amen.

May the spirit of wisdom and strength sustain you in the fight against the evil one, so that you can celebrate the Easter Victory with Christ… Amen.

And the Blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit descend upon all of you, upon your families and be with you always… Amen.

(SINGING)

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