(Submitted by me for the bulletin three Sundays ago as a member of my parish’s Spiritual Life Committee. I suggest you click this link to review the readings before reading the rest of this post.)
Today we find a particularly wonderful example of how all four Scriptures proclaimed at Mass tie together to provide us a hopeful message.
You rebuke offenders little by little,
warn them and remind them of the sins they are committing,
that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O LORD! (Wisdom 11:26-12:1)
With these words from our first reading, we ought to find great comfort. God is not content to leave us mired in sin but desires to bring us out of the muck to find fulfillment in Him. His rebukes, warnings, and reminders may come in many forms: a tweak of conscience, a bad outcome, an embarrassment, a friendly intervention, or countless other ways. We should heed these happenings in our lives by turning to the Lord and reforming our lives so as to live as He commands.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness. (Psalms 145:8)
Today’s psalm then emphasizes the mercy shown by God. He does not give us what we deserve but rather provides us opportunity after opportunity to be reconciled to Him. In this Year of Mercy, let us not miss the chance to embrace the Divine Mercy that the Almighty wishes to pour out on each and every one of us.
We always pray for you…
that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you,
and you in him,
in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:11, 12)
How do we glorify God, as Paul insists upon? By living as Christ taught us and showed us. By working on eliminating sin and vice in our lives, and begging for Jesus’ assistance and mercy, we allow the Lord more room in our hearts and souls so He can fill us with His graces, helping us to live what we profess to believe. And we have the whole Church, in heaven, in purgatory, and here on earth, praying for us!
“Today salvation has come to this house…
For the Son of Man has come to seek
and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:9, 10)
Finally, these are the words we ultimately want to hear. Having confessed our sins and repaid our debts, we, like Zacchaeus, are freed from the bondage of sin and become reconciled to the Jesus who saves.
A daily examination of conscience and regular recourse to the Sacrament of Reconciliation are great gifts to us. How will you take advantage of these to draw close