We see in today’s Gospel Jesus welcoming sinners, but the hope is that they will repent–turn away from sin — and become identified with the Lord in spirit and truth.
“We must be able to make a distinction between self-knowledge and sin. Self-knowledge will help one to rise up, whereas sin is a weakness that leads to repeated sin and despondency. Deep confidence and trust will come through self-knowledge. Then you will turn to Jesus to support you in your weakness whereas if you think you are strong, you will not need our Lord.” Mother Saint Teresa of Calcutta, Meditation for 5 September from The Joy in Loving (Penguin, 2000)
“Only thanks to a constant process of conversion and renewal, will the person move forward on the path of self-knowledge, the control of their will and the capacity to avoid evil and do good…In Confession, we live at first hand the essence of the love of God. He comes to meet us in the most fitting way, which is that of mercy. By this I do not mean the way of conversion is easy…The most important sign of the capacity to love like God is forgiveness. God loves us and for this he forgives us constantly.” Holy Father Saint John Paul II, March 26, 1999