Give Us This Day Magazine published this article for today’s reflection on the gospel, Luke 6:36-38.
See the Mercy
I sit among the shamefaced, especially during the Lenten season. A wrinkled-faced man admits to me in our softly lit confessional that he regrets so many decisions of his past. He never offered his apologies to his wife before her death. A woman with jittery lips and red eyes cannot fully admit to God that her drinking drains her life of meaning. Some sit in my office with teary eyes and broken lives. Others wait on their deathbeds for me to stretch out my thumb covered in oil and anoint the shame away.
This is the season to restore every relationship. We long to be free from the weight of the judgments we cast on one another. We come to God in Lent with our eyes cast down and our brows furrowed, longing to discover God’s measure of mercy. God wipes shame away from our faces and offers love within our hearts.
Every Lenten season, through the mercy of God, I see full measures of love fall into the laps of those willing to come clean about their lives. When we speak the truth about our lives and our relationships in prayer and in our sacraments, gifts are given to us—“a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing.” I listen carefully to people in Lent and watch the joy of Jesus’ forgiveness emerge on the faces of strangers. I sit among the redeemed with a smile on my own face that is soul deep.
Fr. Ronald Patrick Raab
Ronald Patrick Raab, CSC, is pastor of the Tri-Community Catholic Parish in Colorado Springs. He formerly served as associate pastor at Saint Andre Bessette Church in Old Town, Portland, Oregon. Learn more at http://www.ronaldraab.com.