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Lent is always a special moment in the Church’s life, a time for us to experience and celebrate God’s mercy.
Even more so, in this Year of Mercy, when we are invited to contemplate and meditate on the merciful, compassionate face of Christ with a new intensity.
So many of the scriptures invite us to rediscover the merciful face of the Father.
The Holy Spirit gives us the grace to make our own the many rich passages of the Scriptures from the Lenten Liturgy.
Lent is a season of mercy because it is also a time of repentance and conversion. The words of the prophet Micah for example speaks to us down through the centuries and captures the confidence we can have in God’s mercy and forgiveness.
‘You, O Lord, are a God who takes away iniquity and pardons sin, who does not hold your anger forever, but are pleased to show mercy. You, Lord, will return to us and have pity on your people. You will trample down our sins and toss them into the depths of the sea.’
The prophet Isaiah also sheds light on the call of Lent to examine our lives, turn away from sin and be renewed and refreshed in heart and spirit.
‘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 shine in the darkness and your shadows become like noon….He will give strength to your bones and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters never run dry’
As Pope Francis has said in his message for Lent, during these weeks we are to give first place to a ‘prayerful listening to God’s word, especially his prophetic word’
It is through the Sacrament of Mercy, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, that we can almost touch the beauty and grandeur of God’s mercy with our own hands.
May God’s mercy be poured upon us like the morning dew and his healing balm of forgiveness wash away our iniquity and cleanse us from our sin.