- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

February 27, 2018

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO [1]

2nd Tuesday of Lent
Isaiah 1:10, 16-20; Matthew 23:1-12

During the season of lent, we are invited to repent of our sins and to return to the Lord with our whole heart and with our whole soul and with our whole strength. It is not enough for us to merely feel sorry for our sins, we must also repent of having committed them. Having indulged our sinful appetites, we must acknowledge our sins, reform our lives and return to the path God desires us to walk. God, in His love and mercy, has provided a fountain where we can have all our sins washed away, the pierced heart of His Son. Consider well these words taken from the Prophet Isaiah: “Come now, let us settle the matter. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be white as wool” (Is. 1:18). The choice is placed before us: life and death, good and evil. Only in God do we truly find ourselves and discover the ultimate meaning of life.

We are mortal creatures to whom God wishes to give a share in His eternal life. As he gazes upon us, He sees the image of His Beloved Son. Our chief purpose, as the crown of creation, is to glorify God in thought, in word and in deed. Consider for a moment these words from the prophet Micah: “The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires you to do, to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Mi. 6:8). God never demands the impossible. To help us accomplish all that God demands of us, He cleanses us of all our sins and creates a new heart for us. All we need do is follow in the footsteps of Christ and, like Him, face the spiritual battle with Satan all the while depending on the strength of the Word of God.

The Cross of Christ is the cure of all the ills that affect our world. Lent allows us an opportunity to set things right. During these sacred days, we must exert ourselves in an effort to turn away from worldly interests and cling to Christ who has grasped us as His own. Our love for Christ must be translated into acts of love towards others, especially the poor and marginalized of society. As the kingdom becomes more real in our lives, our hearts will be renewed and the Spirit of the Lord will recreate us. Saint Benedict reminds us: “As we advance in the religious life and in faith, our hearts expand and we run the way of God’s commandments with unspeakable sweetness of love” (RB Prol.)

God reads our inmost thoughts. He knows all the challenges that confront us. Knowing the depths of God’s love for us, we can open ourselves to the life God has prepared for us and calmly face the challenges that will come our way. Prayerful silence is required is we are to hear the voice of God that resounds within our hearts. It is His voice that inspires courage and enables us to respond to His call. God is the only One who can transform our lives. The certainty that God loves us gives us the strength to carry forward what God asks of us here and now, in every aspect of our lives. When the Lord Jesus returns in glory, may He bring us all together into eternal life.