*ANSWER US LORD FOR YOUR MERCY IS KIND*
(Saturday March 9, 2019)
One thing very significant during this period is that Lenten observances we embark upon are such that go with reward. The saying that “Nothing goes for nothing” applies clearly in this reading.
The Holy Church knows why she asks us to take these three traditional spiritual exercises of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. One of the reasons is that they help us to grow in our spiritual lives. Praying more, fasting and doing almsgiving during this time have an end in view.
The readings of today present us with the benefits of almsgiving as it goes “The Lord says this: "If you do away with the yoke, the clenched fist, the wicked word, if you give your bread to the hungry, and relief to the oppressed, your light will rise in the darkness, and your shadows become like noon. The Lord will always guide you, giving you relief in desert places. He will give strength to your bones and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water and whose water never run dry” (Isa 58:9-11)
The responsorial psalm presents to us a prayer of the one who comes before the Lord with an open heart seeking to know more the way of the Lord and at the same time asks for pardon and forgiveness. It says “Show me, Lord, your way so that I may walk in your truth. Turn your ear, O Lord, and give answer, for I am poor and needy. Preserve my life, for I am faithful; save the servant who trusts in you. You are my God, have mercy on me, Lord, for I cry to you all the day long. Give joy to your servant, O Lord, for to you I lift up my soul. O Lord, you are good and forgiving, full of love to all who call. Give heed, O Lord, to my prayer and attend to the sound of my voice" (Psalm 85:1-6).
However, Jesus made it known to the Pharisees that the essence of His coming is for sinners and those who accept their condition as sinners will reap the full benefit of His presence in the world but those who will harden themselves out of pride like the Pharisees will not gain the benefits because it takes humility to say Lord forgive me for I have sinned against you!
The Lenten period is a time that reminds us of how weak we are and depend on God's assistance and grace. Let us, therefore, pray that the Almighty God will look with compassion on our weakness and grant us His protection.
Let Us Pray: Lord Jesus, give me the grace to respond to your invitation to come follow you and may my repentance be total and sincere. Amen.