The Spanish have a touching folk tale about an estranged father and son. When the son leaves home after a severe argument, the father looks for him everywhere. After months of searching in vain, he takes one last desperate step: he publishes an announcement in one of Madrid’s daily newspapers. The statement reads: “Dear Paco, I will wait for you at the entrance of the Almudena Cathedral on Saturday afternoon. Everything is forgiven. I love you. With longing and love, Your Father.” On that Saturday afternoon, eight hundred Pacos stand at the cathedral doors, waiting for their father’s forgiveness and love.
God is our loving Father who proclaims His love and forgiveness in the pages of the Holy Scriptures and waits with open arms for the return of His estranged sons and daughters. If we heed His call and return home, His inexhaustible mercy and infinite love will pour upon us, washing away all our wrongs and errors.
Indeed: “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always accuse, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:8-14).
Such is the love, mercy, and grace of our heavenly father. He knows us well. He created us from dust and knows all our weaknesses and shortcomings. Knowing all that, He loves us as His children. And when we confess our sins and ask for forgiveness, he removes our sins from us as far as the east is from the west.
Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan