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The Lord is Gracious and Merciful: Weekly Message for 02-09-16
The Lord is Gracious and Merciful
Dear Fellow Digital Pilgrim, pax Christi:
Tomorrow marks the beginning of our 46-day countdown until Easter Sunday. Traditionally we try to live it in a spirit of prayer and penance, desiring conversion of heart and a deeper faith. But rather than focus solely on our own efforts, we notice throughout the Lenten liturgy what God plans to do for us: “whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24). Our Lenten resolutions should enable us to respond to the love of God who saves.
As Lent approaches, let us allow ourselves to be surprised, delighted, and consoled by the discovery that the Lord continues to keep his promises. It is a tremendous time of favor where he sets about to restore, heal, and reconcile:
Sing out, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth,
break forth into song, you mountains.
For the LORD comforts his people
and shows mercy to his afflicted.
— Isaiah 49:13
In his first book, The Face of God is Mercy, Pope Francis reminds us that “God forgives not with a decree but with a caress…Jesus too goes beyond the law and forgives by caressing the wounds of our sins.” While Jesus enters our lives with the power to judge, he comes also to reconcile us to the merciful Father.
During his Lenten message in this Year of Mercy, Pope Francis invites us to recognize our own need for God’s mercy. That mercy “transforms human hearts; it enables us, through the experience of a faithful love, to become merciful in turn,” the Holy Father writes. God’s great love and mercy, so visible in salvific act of Christ’s death and resurrection, obliges us to communicate what we have received to others through our words and deeds.
Lent is as much a time to discover joyfully God’s saving power, as it is a time of sacrifice to increase the effect of his grace in our lives. We hope that our resources here at RCSpirituality encourage you during this season of Lent to deepen in prayer: “O God, be gracious and bless us and let your face shed its light upon us. So will your ways be known upon earth and all nations earn your saving help.” (Psalm 67).
In the meantime, I want to express my sincere appreciation once again for all your spiritual and material support, which makes it possible for us at RCSpirituality.org to live out our mission to evangelize the digital continent.
With the assurance of my prayers that you will experience God’s gracious and merciful love this season,
Yours in Christ,
God bless you!
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