exodus 34:4b-6, 8-9; 2 corinthians 13:11-13; john 3:16-18
in his short story «capital of the world», ernest hemingway tells about a spanish father and his son paco. one evening, in the heat of an argument, paco hurled some hateful words at his father. he packed up his few possessions, stomped out of the house, and travelled to madrid. the despairing father missed his runaway son. he waited for him to return, and eventually placed an ad in the local newspaper: «paco, meet me at the hotel montana at noon on tuesday. all is forgiven! love, papa.» when the father went to the hotel on tuesday, there were eight hundred young men named paco waiting for their forgiving fathers!
this is our story, too! a story of rebelling against GOD, of refusing his friendship, of leaving home. each one of us is «paco.» and GOD seeks us out and says: «all is forgiven! love, papa.»
today’s readings and feast remind us that GOD’s nature is love. his is not a sentimental/ emotional love but a love that forgives and does not condemn.
in the first reading, moses intercedes with GOD—after the debacle of the golden calf—to forgive his people. GOD tells moses that he is «a merciful and gracious GOD, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity.» he renews the covenant with israel, forgives israel’s sin, and continues to journey with them.
in the gospel, JESUS tells nicodemus that GOD sent him because he loved the world and wanted to save us.
am i ready to return to my forgiving and loving GOD? do i forgive and love like he does? whom will i forgive and love in the week ahead?