Posted by: livingscripture | March 5, 2014

ASH WEDNESDAY

From the Word of the Day

Then the Lord was stirred to concern for his land and took pity on his people.”

                                                           Joel 2: 18                                            

 

How should we live this Word imagesCAKZ3W95

It is not easy to know God’s forgiveness.  First we must consider ourselves as sinners and God as merciful.   The two things go together.  If I see my constitutional fragility, my sinfulness, that is more than my single sins but is my human condition, then I understand that I cannot go ahead alone.  I need a merciful caress rather than a final judgment.  Without this, I would become prey to scruples, feelings of guilt, of fear.  I would be crushed by the severe looks of those who judge me.  Only mercy can give me breath.

This is the time of Lent, a time to discover this caress.  It is not only a time of penance, of purification, of fasting.  It is above all a time of profundity in which to discover I am loved, in which to approach the throne of grace to receive mercy.”  (Hebrews 4: 16)  All our resolutions, all our choices to live these days acquire value in the measure in which they approach this.  If not, we run the risk of being distracted, or worse, of becoming proud of our strong will, like the hypocrites of whom the Gospel speaks.

God is ‘jealous’ of His land’ as Joel reminds us.  We are His ‘land’, where he wants to pour down His compassion.  We are the land, the ‘space’ where sin and mercy meet, which He wants to make fruitful so that it will bring forth blossoms of conversion.  Ours is a continual return because we distance ourselves like the waves; we lose trust; we find it hard to believe that the Lord loves us; we are crushed by negative evidence against us.  Yet, if we can return, it is because Someone continues to call us.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will begin Lent by remaining with Jesus, in His embrace, in the sure knowledge that He loves me always, no matter what.  I will resolve to remain in and with Him always.

Lord, God of Mercy, help me to live this time as Your call to discover who You are for me and for every person.  Grant that I may truly feel that I am ‘Your Land’ on which You pour down Your compassion.

The voice of Jean Danielou, Theologian

A Christian is nothing other than a pagan on the road to conversion.


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