Friday of the 1st week of Lent

Theme: The love and mercy of God

The mercy of God resounds in both his words and in his actions. In the 1st reading of today the prophet Ezekiel points out the fact that God does not desire to see his creatures condemned or destroyed. His desire is for us to have life in abundance. In view of this, he emphasizes the need for us to be consistent in doing what is right and pleasing to God at all times, if we truly desire to make heaven at the end of our mortal life. He also shows us the depth of his mercy by accepting all those who turn away from their evil ways to embrace the message of love and peace that God is offering us as his children. Consistency in doing what is right and pleasing to God is a necessity in our journey of faith. Like St. Paul would say, we must never get tired of doing what is right, no matter the temptation to deviate from the right path. However, let us do all within our power not to take fore-granted the love and mercy of God.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, in the gospel reading we also see the mercy and love of God in the admonition of Jesus Christ. He encourages us to guide against hypocrisy in our life, if we desire to enter the kingdom of God. Jesus admonishes us to embrace righteousness in the true sense of the word, and not the way it was practiced by the Scribes and Pharisees. Jesus also encourages us to forgive one another and be reconciled with each other. By so doing, we will be emulating Christ in his forgiving spirit and mercy. We are all encouraged in today’s liturgy to make honest and sincere effort to emulate Christ in our actions at all times. It is never too late for us to retrace our steps and return back to God like the prodigal son in St. Luke’s gospel; now is the time.

May God grant us the grace to let the past go and begin a new life in the present with the Lord. Peace be with you.

Friday of the 1st week of Lent, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp