Providing the Word of God.

March 8, 2017


WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS
NOW IS MERCY & FORGIVENESS

Reading 1 – JON 3:1-10

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:
“Set out for the great city of Nineveh,
and announce to it the message that I will tell you.”
So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh,
according to the LORD’s bidding.
Now Nineveh was an enormously large city;
it took three days to go through it.
Jonah began his journey through the city,
and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing,
“Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,”
when the people of Nineveh believed God;
they proclaimed a fast
and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.

When the news reached the king of Nineveh,
he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe,
covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes.
Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh,
by decree of the king and his nobles:
“Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep,
shall taste anything;
they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water.
Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God;
every man shall turn from his evil way
and from the violence he has in hand.
Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath,
so that we shall not perish.”
When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,
he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;
he did not carry it out.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19

R. (19B) A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

Verse Before the Gospel – JL 2:12-13

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart
for I am gracious and merciful.

Gospel – LK 11:29-32

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
“This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah.
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here.”

Reflection

People who are in the greatest need of mercy and forgiveness, and truly acknowledge it, are the ones who recognize wisdom when they see it. The “professional-religious class” in both the Old and New Testaments, were certainly too jaded and overwhelmed with their own sanctity perceptions to recognize wisdom, God’s presence, His love and mercy. It was this group of folks who were always judging, criticizing, condemning and even acting superior to others that stirred Jesus words into action: “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it…”

Here is the remedy to haughty, senseless pride—pure and simple: “A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.”

Mercy Hope GodEvery day we are alive on this planet, we are given plenty of opportunities to forgive, be merciful, practice patience and beg for God’s mercy. Instead, at times, we take the easy path and turn that humility into a raw grab for power over another, a quick salve just to feel better about ourselves, and an underhanded way to escape responsibility for our behavior and actions.

Jesus calls out to you and me: WAIT! THERE IS A MUCH BETTER WAY! 

The great Season of Lent provides with the opportunity to be humble before God. That’s why it is such a great idea to fast from simple things like coffee, sweets, and other simple pleasures because it truly does bring us before our Loving God and become merciful servants to one another.

First Petition of the Our Father: “Hallowed Be Thy Name”
 

When we say something is hallowed, we mean that it is Holy. God reveals His name as Holy because He Himself is Holy and above all things. When we make this particular petition in the our Father, we are basically asking God for the help to make His Name Holy by everything we do and say. Just think about it: We begin our spiritual lives “in the NAME of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” We also begin most of days with that beautiful invocation as well. What we are saying is simple: let everything that I do, say, think and act be truly in His Holy Name and according to His Holy Will.

 

 

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