MERCIFUL LIKE THE FATHER

Friday 10th March – Friday of the 1st week of Lent

Reflection: Psalm 130: 1-8

MERCIFUL LIKE THE FATHER

This was the theme for the celebration of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy in the Church all over the world in 2015/2016. As the church called each one of us to embrace God’s mercy and reconcile with Him, it equally called us to be like our Father in extending mercy and forgiveness to others.

The response to today’s psalm: “If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord, who would survive?” reminds us that we live by God’s mercy and grace. None of us can truly boast before Him. We make a covenant with Him in Baptism and despite His faithfulness we stumble repeatedly and very often, fall so badly. Yet He does not mark our guilt. Do we have a right to mark the guilt of others then?

When we hear Jesus’ parable of the unforgiving servant who had his fellow servant thrown in prison because of a debt despite being forgiven a much bigger sum by their master, we may be quick to see how wicked that servant was. Before we criticize him too much, let us look at the mirror of our hearts and recognize all those who guilt we are “marking.” Lent offers us a time to seek mercy and to extend it to others. Let us not let this opportune moment pass us by.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your mercy; please help me to extend your love and forgiveness to others. Amen.

Faith Pearls: YOUCAT 524 – What does it mean to say, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”?

Merciful forgiveness—the mercy that we show to others and the mercy that we ourselves seek—is indivisible. If we ourselves are not merciful and do not forgive one another, God’s mercy will not reach our hearts.

Hide a Treasure: “If you O Lord should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?” Psalm 130:3 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Ezekiel 18:21-28; Ps 130: 1-8; Mt 5:20-26

WHEN THE LORD HAS FORGIVEN YOUR GUILT

Wednesday 10th December – Wednesday of the 2nd week of Advent

Reflection: Psalm 103: 1-4, 8-10

WHEN THE LORD HAS FORGIVEN YOUR GUILT

Undoubtedly, the Christian race is full of ups and downs. As it is with our relationship with our fellow men, so it is with our relationship with our creator. There are times we get it right and there are times we utterly falter. However, far above our human preparedness to forgive offences, our Lord’s compassion and mercy clearly supersedes. Hence the Psalmist says: “The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy. He does not treat us according to our sins nor repay us according to our faults. It is he who forgives all our guilt, who heals every one of our ills.” (Psalm 103: 3, 8, 10).

Beloved in Christ, have you faltered in your relationship with God? Does it appear you have “disappointed” God in a way, and this weight of guilt is daily pressing down on you? Perhaps you have even confessed the sin over and over but find it difficult to forgive yourself. Please be on the watch! This might be the devil’s antique to totally destroy your relationship with God.

Having repented, confessed and forsaken our sins, we have the assurance of God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9). Let us learn to forgive ourselves, and be liberated from the imprisonment of ungodly sorrow. In the same vein, we must guard against the mistake by Judas of refusing to seek God’s mercy out of the deception that the magnitude of his sin is beyond the redemptive love of God. Remember, Christ paid the full cost of our sins on the cross of Calvary! When the Lord has forgiven your sin, why not forgive thyself?

PRAYER:  I thank you Lord for the unimaginable debt of your love and mercy; please help me to work with you in this understanding that I may better grow in my love and dedication to you. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 101 – Why did Jesus have to redeem us on the Cross, of all places?

The Cross on which Jesus, although innocent, was cruelly executed is the place of utmost degradation and abandonment. Christ, our Redeemer, chose the Cross so as to bear the guilt of the world and to suffer the pain of the world. So he brought the world back home to God by his perfect love

 HIDE A TREASURE: “If our conscience condemns us, we know that God is greater than our conscience and that He knows everything” 1 John 3: 20 GNB

Readings for Today: Isaiah 40: 25-31; Psalm 103: 1-4, 8-10; Matthew 11: 28-30

DISCHARGED AND ACQUITTED

Monday 7th April – Monday of the 5th week of Lent

Reflection: Psalm 23

DISCHARGED AND ACQUITTED

Today, Jesus demonstrates not only His power to forgive sins, but also His power to declare you “not guilty”. If the Lord be your shepherd, then you shall not want. Do you understand what this means? It is not just talking about physical want. Rather, it also means that no one shall lay any charge against you, no one shall condemn you, and that you shall be led by your shepherd into a guilt-free life. This does not automatically rule out the need for repentance and contrition, no, but it further implies that you should believe that God is able set you free from the controlling power of sin and satan’s accusation over your life.

God gave you a conscience, not to make you live a life of depression and guilt; but rather to turn you to the Shepherd of your soul who is able to set you free and lead you to the refreshing waters of His Divine Mercy. How about the woman caught in adultery? Jesus did not condemn her but rather charged her to go and sin no more. Turn to Jesus today, for He is able to lead you through the dark shadows of death, sin, evil, and fear; and bring you to the table of love which He has prepared for you.

Prayer: Thank you Jesus for your saving grace in my life. Please set me free from every form of self-condemnation and accusations of the enemy. I come to you Lord, have mercy on me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR CHURCH: YOUCAT 314: How do we know that God is merciful?

In many passages in Sacred Scripture God shows that He is merciful, especially in the parable of the merciful father (Lk.15) who goes out to meet his prodigal son, accepts him unconditionally, and celebrates his return and their reconciliation with a joyful banquet. [CCC. 1846-1870].”

HIDE A TREASURE: “… Neither do I condemn you; go, do not sin again.” John 8:11 RSV-CE.

Readings for today: Daniel 13:1-9, 15-30, 33-62; Psalm 23; John 8:1-11.