God shows His mercy in calling the sinner to repentance. When Adam rebelled against the Lord, and then hid from His Face, God began to look for him, and, almost crying, called: Adam, where are you? (Gen 3:9). These are the words of a Father who seeks his lost son.
God, many times, has done the same with you, my brother. When you wandered away from God, he continued to call, at times with inspiration, at times with remorse of conscience, at times with sermons, at times with tribulations, at times with the death of your friends. Addressing you, it seems that God says: I am exhausted from crying, my throat is parched (Ps 69,4), "Son, I almost lost my voice in calling you." Santa Teresa warns: "pay attention, because who is calling you is the Lord who one day will have to judge you." My christian, how many times did you pretend not to hear the voice of God who was calling you! You deserved that he would not call you any more, but instead God has never stopped calling because he wanted to make peace with you and save you. Think that who was calling you was a God of infinite majesty, while you were, simply, a miserable and disgusting being, and He was calling you to give you back the life of grace you had lost: Repent and live.
To be able to earn the grace of God, it would be a small thing to live in a desert for a lifetime. Now, if you had wanted him, God would have offered you His grace, in an instant, for a single act of repentance , and yet you rejected it. Despite all, God did not abandon you, but, almost crying, He came near and said, "Son, why do you want to lose yourself?" Why do you want to die, O house of Israel?
When a man commits a mortal sin, he banishes God from his soul: The wicked were telling God: Depart from us! (Job 21:14). But God sits at the door of that ungrateful heart: Here I am, at the door of your heart and I am knocking (Rev. 3:20). He seems to beg the soul to let Him enter: Open to me, my sister (Song 5:2). St. Dionysius Areopagita says, "God goes after the sinners like a scorned lover, begging them not to lose themselves." St. Paul meant the same thing when he wrote to his disciples: We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God! (2 Cor 5:20). Commenting on this passage, St. John Crisostomo makes this beautiful reflection: "Christ himself pleads with you. What is He begging you for? To be reconciled with God, He does not behave like an enemy:you do".
It's just like that. Our good Lord, day and night, goes back to sinners, telling them: "Ungrateful, do not go away from me, tell me why you fled. I want your good, and I want nothing more than to make you happy, why do you want to lose yourselves? "But, Lord, what do you do? Why so much patience and love for these rebels? What do you hope from them? It doesn't honor You to show yourself so merciful toward these miserable beings. What is man, that thou makes so much of him, and gives him such attention?
The princes of the land don't not even deign the rebellious subjects with a glance, when they come to them and ask for forgiveness. God does not do so with us. He will not turn away from you, if you do return to Him. God is unable to turn away his face from those who return at His feet, and indeed He himself calls and promises to receive you as soon as you go to Him: Come back to me, and I will receive you (Jer 3,1 Vg), With how much love and tenderness God embraces the sinner who returns to him! Jesus made us see this with the parable of the lost sheep. After finding it, the pastor put it on his shoulders, rejoicing, then called together his friends to rejoice with him: Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost. Jesus concludes by saying: There will be more joy in heaven over just one repentant sinner.
The Redeemer has shown even better the divine mercy with the parable of the prodigal son. God is like a father who, seeing the returning prodigal son, runs to meet him, and before he speaks, embraces him and kisses him, and almost faints for the tenderness and joy: He ran to him, embraced and kissed him.
The Lord even says that if a sinner repents, he is willing to forget his sins as if he had never offended him; If the wicked turn away from all their sins ... they will live, and none of the sins committed will be remembered.
He also says: Come and "Reproach me." If your sins were scarlet, they shall be as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18 Vg). As if to say: "Come, sinners, and if I will not forgive you, scold me and treat me as a liar." But no!. God can not despise a heart that humbles itself and repents: A broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
The glory of the Lord will have mercy toward sinners and will forgive them (Is 30,18). And how long does it take Him to forgive? He does it immediately. "Sinner, says the prophet", you will not have to cry, to your cry of supplication the Lord will give grace; as soon as He will hear, he will answer (Isaiah 30:19). God does not behave with us as we act with him. God calls us, and we pretend to be deaf. God doesn't: He will hear us. He will answer; as soon as we repent and ask for forgiveness, God will immediately respond and forgive us.
Taken from St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.