THURSDAY IV LENT: when we ourselves had turned away from you
The LORD said to Moses, “Go down at once to your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them…” (Ex. 32:7)
Faced with such a deplorable situation,
the Church earnestly appeals to the ministers
whom she herself enrolled in the cause of her divine Spouse,
to do all in their power,
by word and example,
to rekindle the flame of faith that has all but died in the hearts of so many of her children.
Eugene de Mazenod’s Preface to the Rule of Life
Lord, when we ourselves had turned away from you on account of our sins, you brought us back to be reconciled, O Lord, so that, converted at last to you, we might love one another through your Son, whom for our sake you handed over to death.
(Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation II)
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Today we look at the Israelites, along with Eugene and his priests, at the Church of his time and ours. But it is the words from the Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation that halt me and cause me to once again, ask for mercy.
I think of how my heart wants to close down when I see the image of Putin appear on the screen during the news, or when I hear of the atrocities of war. And as much as I would like to say “who am I to judge”, I find myself doing just that in small ways as when I get on the bus with my walker and everyone seated is busy on their phones, making me ask for someone to move – I mean can’t they see? Damn, how many times have I closed my eyes in order not to see?
My sins seem to be very small and repetitive and yet never have I heard God shout “enough” and then turn away from me. Rather God seems to actually rejoice when I re-turn to him, asking Jesus to forgive me – the kind of rejoicing that we see in the story of the Father with the prodigal son.
“Long have I waited for
Your coming home to me
And living deeply our new lives.” (John Michael Talbot’s Hosea)