Homily for Friday of the 1st Week of Lent
The readings that we hear this morning are pretty stark. They warn us of what will become of us if we fail to acknowledge our sins and convert from them. If we were to die in that state, the consequences of that would be eternal. Jesus Himself tells us that in our Gospel. He is giving us a real challenge to take a journey inward, to examine our hearts, to allow the Spirit to lead us to a realization of how we have turned away from God in our lives. It’s a serious invitation to recognize our own sins, admit our wrongdoing to God, to convert, and to allow our lives to be changed.
But it isn’t all doom and gloom because God’s justice is always…always…tempered by His mercy. We’re reminded of that at the end of our First Reading as well as in our Responsorial Psalm. If we acknowledge that we make mistakes and bring those things to the Lord asking for His forgiveness, He will meet us there and offer that forgiveness. As the Psalmist says: For with the LORD is kindness and with Him is plenteous redemption; He will redeem [us] from all [our] iniquities.”
This Lent, let’s make a concerted effort to cooperate with the Lord’s grace. May we ask for a special outpouring of the Spirit to become more aware of the times that we turn away from the Lord. That might mean asking the Lord if there are sins on our hearts from the past that we maybe have never confessed. Do a good, sincere, and thorough examination of conscience and see what the Lord brings to the surface, see what He allows to stir in our hearts.
On Monday evening, we will have the opportunity to go to confession at our Lenten Penance Service. Let’s prepare for that well, confess our sins, and receive the Lord’s mercy so that we can walk toward Easter with hearts full of grace and gratitude for all the God has done for us.
Photo: Croix d’Ambel, plateau d’Ambel, Omblèze, France by Jametlene Reskp. Used under Unsplash license.