Return to the Lord with all Your Heart.

Clergy Corner by Fr. David A. Runnion

Exodus 3:1-8a,13-15; Ps 103:1-4,6-8,11; 1 Corinthians 10:1-6,10-12; Luke 13-1-9 - 3rdSunLent

Lent is a season of repentance and for cultivating our spiritual life in order to bear fruit for the Lord our God.

From Moses' encounter with the Lord, we first learned how to refer to God. He is "the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob" (Exo 3:6, 15), the God who formed a chosen people and later grafted-in the Gentiles who believe in him through Christ. The one true God of creation is "I am who am" (Exo 3:14).

The almighty God manifested his love and his power by saving the Israelites from slavery in Egypt (Exo 3:7-17). He showed his great love and mercy to the Hebrews in order to show the world how surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him (cf. Ps 103:7, 17).

Throughout the chosen people's desert sojourn, the Eternal Word and Rock of Ages shepherded them, even as they lost faith and grumbled against God (see 1 Cor 10:1-5). All who turned away from God after his many saving miracles were granted their ill-conceived desire and allowed to perish in their sinfulness in the desert (see 1 Cor 10:5-10). Their bad example is a warning for us not to turn away from nor presume upon the living God (id. at 11-12).

When, in the fullness of time, God then sent the Divine Son, Jesus Christ, to be the way to eternal life for all who believe in Him (Gal 4:4-5), he called all men to repentance. It is not God's desire that any be lost. To the contrary, he wishes all to be saved. That is precisely why Jesus Christ, Who is fully God, came down from Heaven, that all who turn to Him in repentance from sin (Lk 13:1-5) and believe in and are baptized in Him might have life and have it to the full (e.g., Jn 3:5-7; 10:10; 14:1).

Pope Francis reminds us that "Jesus Christ is the face of the Father's mercy," and that "God's mercy transforms human hearts; it enables us… to become merciful in turn… inspiring… us to love our neighbor and to devote ourselves to… spiritual and corporal works of mercy."

During Lent, may we return to the Lord with all our heart, and, through God's grace and our prayers, repentance, and good works, may our lives bear much fruit for the Lord.


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