Pope Francis Santa Marta Mass God's Love - the love of a father

Pope Francis: - God's Love - the love of a father 04.02.20

Pope Francis 04.02.20 Holy Mass Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) 2 Samuel 18: 9-10, 14b, 24-25a, 30 to 19: 3

Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time - Lectionary Cycle II

“My son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you!” This was the anguished cry of David, weeping at news of the death of his son. The Second Book of Samuel tells of the end of the long battle Absalom had waged against his own father, King David, in order to replace him on the throne. David suffered from that war that his son had unleashed against him by convincing the people to fight by his side, so much so that David had had to flee Jerusalem, barefoot, his head uncovered, insulted by some, while others threw stones at him, because all the people were with this son who had deceived the people, had seduced the heart of the people with promises.

Today's reading shows David waiting for news from the front, and tells of the arrival, finally, of a messenger, who tells him that Absalom had died in the battle. David was shaken at this news, and trembling and weeping, cried out, “My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you!” Those who were with him were amazed by this reaction.

‘But why are you weeping? This person was against you, he had disowned you, he had renounced your fatherhood, he had insulted you, he had persecuted you. But celebrate, rejoice that you have won!’ But David only said, “My son, my son, my son,” and wept. This weeping of David is an historic fact, but it is also a prophecy. It makes us see the heart of God, what God does when we turn away from Him, what the Lord does when we destroy ourselves with sin, when we are disoriented, lost. The Lord is a Father, and He never denies this paternity, but says ‘My son, my son’.

We encounter this weeping of God when we confess our sins. Confession, is not like going to the dry cleaners to take away a stain; rather, it is going to the Father who weeps for me, precisely because He is a Father.

David’s words — “If only I had died instead of you, Absalom my son” — are prophetic and in God it comes true.

So great is the love of a father that God has for us that He died in our place. He became man and died for us. When we look at the crucifix, we think of this: ‘He died instead of you’. And we hear the voice of the Father who in the Son says to us, ‘My child, my child’. God does not deny His children, He does not reject His paternity.

God's love reaches the extreme. Who is on the cross, is God, the Son of the Father, sent to give life for us.

It would be good in the difficult moments in our lives — and we all have them — in moments of sin, in moments when we feel far from God, to hear this voice in our hearts: ‘My son, my daughters, what are you doing? Don’t kill yourself, please. I died for you”.

Jesus wept as He looked at Jerusalem. Jesus weeps for us, because we don’t let Him love us. In the moment of temptation, in the moment of sin, in the moment when we distance ourselves from God, let us try to hear this voice: ‘My son, my daughter, why?’”