“I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” (Mt.9:13, Hosea 6:6)
The season of Lent is at hand in this Jubilee Year of Mercy. There is an invitation that this Lent “be lived more intensely as a privileged moment to celebrate and experience God’s mercy.”
We know that our busy lives can sometimes be cluttered and often noisy. Often the clutter and the noise is external, but it could well be within ourselves too. It is in this context that, this Lent, we hear the call from Pope Francis for a prayerful listening to God’s word, especially God’s prophetic word.
Lent is a call for transformation. It invites us to be in a state of openness to God, in much the same way that Mary was open when she said yes to the stirring of the Spirit. However, for many of us Lent can have negative associations to do with being reminded constantly of our sinfulness and unworthiness. This Ash Wednesday, when we hear, “Repent and believe in the Gospel”, let us hear the longing of the prodigal father as he awaits the return of his wandering child.
In the words of Pope Francis, “Let us not waste this season of Lent, so favourable a time for conversion!”
Let us go forth, then, to live this season of Lent …”Compassionate of heart, gentle in word, gracious in awareness, courageous in thought, generous in love.” (John O’ Donohue)
- Read the Pope’s Lenten Message for 2016 http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/lent/documents/papa-francesco_20151004_messaggio-quaresima2016.html
- Watch the video ‘Lent FAQ with Joe Paprocki’ http://www.loyolapress.com/lent-faq.htm