Sorry, not Sorry – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 15:1-32, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

When we think of mercy, awa, we often think of the object of mercy as being the poor, the oppressed, the helpless, the api. Which is okay because they do need mercy.

But strangely enough, notice that the parables of mercy are not about the poor or the oppressed. They’re about people who sin and acknowledge their wrongdoing, then come back around.

There’s really no sin so heavy that God cannot and will not forgive. In fact, I often say that, even before we sin and even before we repent, God is already predisposed to forgive us.

I will even push it further and say that our repentance does not condition God’s forgiveness. Because if you say, “You need to repent first before God forgives you,” you’re saying that God’s forgiveness and mercy are controlled by our repentance.

But God is like a good parent. No matter how heavily a child offends a good parent, the parent’s default disposition is still and always will be forgiveness. Walang mabuting magulang ang natitiis ang anak.

So why do we have to apologize and repent if ever we sin, especially when we offend greatly and harm another person, if God’s forgiveness is already his predisposition?

The repentance we do is not for God to change his mind from punishment to mercy. Our repentance changes us from being bad to being better.

And we see that. We are very familiar with that. Someone who harms us and then says he’s sorry but does not really repent for his offense—is bound to be harm us again. No repentance, no sense of accountability; therefore, no change, no transformation. The same old thing. The same old person. The same old stubborn pride.

That’s what I call “sorry but not sorry.” And we’ve met people like that. Yung I’m sorry na hindi naman talaga sorry. “I’m sorry that you got hurt but it’s partly your fault. So quits lang tayo.”

Most of all, repentance is grace. It is something human power alone cannot manufacture. It is something we beg for from God and cooperate with. God is only too willing to give us the grace of repentance. But we need to cooperate with the grace nevertheless.

God’s mercy is always there for the taking. But we profit very much from that mercy when we truly accept our offenses and deeply repent for them. After all, nothing God does and gives is for himself. Always for us. In our favor. For our sakes.


*image from Redbubble

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Mario Quejadas says:

    I love receiving these!!!
    They’re absolutely nourishing!
    Keep them coming!


  2. Sally Abelarde says:

    Once again thank you and bless you for your signature touching homily Fr Arnel. It never fails to bring tears of joy / recognition/ comfort . But always JOY!
    May the Lord of Joy prosper hHis work in you.


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