God's Mercy is Just Waiting On You, Baby

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Photo: Makheo via Unsplash

God's Mercy is Just Waiting On You, Baby


My oldest son just had his first Reconciliation, and it’s got me thinking about this crazy amazing sacrament.

I’ve written about confession before (so have others), but watching my boy prepare for it reminded me just how important it is, because Reconciliation is an intense encounter with the Father’s mercy.

Pope Francis wrote at the conclusion of the Year of Mercy that: 

Mercy cannot become a mere parenthesis in the life of the Church; it constitutes her very existence, through which the profound truths of the Gospel are made manifest and tangible. Everything is revealed in mercy; everything is resolved in the merciful love of the Father. (Misericordia et misera, 1)

Mercy constitutes the Church’s very existence. Woah… imagine if that’s what we were known for!

Truth be told, there were times that I didn’t associate the Church primarily with mercy. I didn’t even associate God primarily with mercy.

I saw God as a distant kind of being. I believed in him, but I didn’t really believe see him as the kind of Father he is.

It was a grace of the Holy Spirit that let me see God in a new light. (By the way, I’m happy to share more about that in the video below.)

If we are to be instruments of mercy in the world, we need to know God’s mercy from the inside. Jesus reminds us this when speaking of the woman who washed his feet with her tears. She had been forgiven much, and so she loved deeply.

But “he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Lk 7:47)

The joy of forgiveness is inexpressible, yet it radiates all around us whenever we experience forgiveness. Its source is in the love with which God comes to meet us, breaking through walls of selfishness that surround us, in order to make us in turn instruments of mercy. (3)

I’m so glad that my son got to experience the Father’s mercy in confession. I’m so glad that his image of the Father is like that of the father to the Prodigal Son.

On the way over to the church he went so far as to ask me:

“Daddy, since God loves forgiving us so much, is it good to commit more sins so you have more to confess?"

Ummmm… great question! But no. God delights in showing mercy, but we can show  love by keeping his commandments as best as we can.

“Oh yeah… that makes sense.”

At the church for the service, the parents were a little on the rowdy side, chatting throughout the service despite frequent reminders to keep a reverent atmosphere. And it occurred to me that if everyone present knew better the mercy of God there would be something close to a stunned silence in the place.

How different might it be if parents and kids lined up together, both taking their turns in confession? Why just have the kids go?

God has enough mercy that none of us need to be spectators. All we need to do is ask.

God has enough mercy that none of us need to be spectators. All we need to do is ask.

Walking home I asked him if it was what he pictured. Was it scary?

“I thought it would be, but really not at all! Daddy, when can I go again?”

Now we’re talking.

If you haven’t been to confession in a while, why not check the times or make an appointment with your pastor? God’s mercy is just waiting on you, baby. 


Super proud of my son making his first Reconciliation today. Super thankful to God who so desires to forgive us. #mercy

A post shared by Josh Canning (@catholicjosh) on

Mercy constitutes the Church’s very existence. Woah… imagine if that’s what we were known for! — Josh Canning

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