Scripture: 1st Reading: Daniel9,4-10; Resp. Psalm: Ps79,8-9,11,13; Gosp. Accl.: Jn6,63,68; Gospel: Lk6,36-38
The acknowledgement of sin brings peace. To accuse ourselves of our iniquities and obtain pardon brings about our reconciliation with God whom we have grievously offended. This is because sin ultimately separates us from God, our supreme good, denies us of our eternal destiny and makes us enemies of God.
It takes the grace of God to look into ourselves and accuse ourselves of falling short of the standards of God. But this is not beyond us to achieve. When we meditate deeply on the holiness of God, His unconditional love for us, His providential care that is all inclusive, His mercy that has no end, then we are moved to seek for His peace whenever sin puts us in opposition to Him.
Prophet Daniel expressed this sentiments on behalf of the people. God is acknowledged as great and awesome, the faithful keeper of covenants, the merciful lover. On the other hand are the human partners in their sins, wrong doing, wicked actions, rebellion and disobedience of God's commandments.
In their sin, the people turned deaf ears to those that Yahweh sent to them. Their stubbornness of heart brought them confusion and shame. Their sins led them into captivity and exile. Their treachery brought them into ruin and destruction.
Our lives are not different from those we read about today. We have departed several times from the commandment of God. We have lost our peace of soul. We have forgotten our eternal destiny. We are covered with confusion and shame.
This is why this Lenten Season affords us yet another opportunity to return back to our God. It gives us the rare privilege to ask for God's mercy and forgiveness, just the way prophet Daniel did today. We have a new chance given to us to depart from our rebellious ways and begin to obey the voice of the Lord our God. We are privileged with a renewed opportunity to follow God's laws which He set before us.
We must remember that the God we serve is merciful. He does not repay us for our faults. Our Lord stressed this important point in today's gospel. He taught us to be merciful as our heavenly Father. He taught us not to judge so that we would not be judged. He taught us to forgive so that we could be forgiven. He asked us to give so that it would be given unto us.
Let us listen to the voice of our God today and enter into His peace. The word talks to us today. The word challenges us to rise to higher grounds of holiness and uprightness. The word moves us to act for the good of our souls. Let us acknowledge our sins before this great and awesome God who loves us. Let us ask for His mercy and receive His pardon and forgiveness. Let us extend same to those who offended us.
Let us pray: "O God, who have taught us to chasten our bodies for the healing of our souls, enable us, we pray, to abstain from all sins, and strengthen our hearts to carry out your loving commands." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.