THEME: Love is born of repentance
FOCUS OF THE MEDITATION: God does not look for our condemnation but our salvation. The Lord seeks to be eternally united to us. May we seek to feel this love and resolve to avoid the near occasion of sin.
Pope John Paul II is depicted embracing Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski
Contemporary Art Collections
"The Embrace is a powerful image that accentuates paternal love and union. The painting recollects the moment when Pope John Paul II, at the Mass of installation to the papacy, embraced his mentor and lifelong friend, Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski."
"Previous meditations have focused on our sin and the effects it has on our relationship with God. Like the prodigal son, we often spend the good gifts that we have received on our selfish desires."
"Since we have had our own way and used our freedom as we wished, we are left with our own brokenness. These moments are graced by God as well, for in these moments of heartache and pain, we begin to long for the healing embrace."
"We all search for love, forgiveness, and strength that cannot be found in our own wills. It is our longing to be more faithful rather than constantly needing to turn to God for mercy. Yet God takes pleasure in being the rock we grasp for strength."
"The Lord is happy to lift us up and save us from the trials of this life, a Father who desires and rejoices when we call on him for assistance."
Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons.
The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.
After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.
So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.
He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!
I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.
For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
PRAYER AND REFLECTION
"Jesus, you do not look to condemn any of your children but desire to blot out their offenses and be in full communion with each of us. Help us not to dwell on our weakness but on your infinite love for us. Amen."
"What moments have blocked you from God's love? List ways that will rekindle your relationship with the Lord."
The comments above are taken from Meditations on Vatican Art by Fr. Mark Haydu. To truly enter into this Visio Divina, I suggest purchasing the book as each masterpiece comes with a complete description, prayer and reflection, and spiritual exercise.