“Whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 COR 5: 17)
There is always a new chance for us to start again: “the old things have passed away” and “new things have come.” We can always start again protecting our relationship, even though we made some mistakes or forgot how important is our marriage for our children. When we invite Our Lord into our marriages, He always comes with strength and His grace.
“I will get up and go to my Father and shall say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Let us know, let us strive to know the LORD; as certain as the dawn is his coming, and his judgment shines forth like the light of day! He will come to us like the rain, like spring rain that waters the earth.” (HOS 6: 3)
Whoever loves wants to know that person of interest. It is so important to know his/her past, traditions, family of origin, achievements, weaknesses, fears and victories. Knowing each other helps us to love and support in the most beautiful way. Also God wants to be known. We can learn about Him from the Bible, from the Church and from prayer. “Let us know, let us strive to know the Lord.”
“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God; you have collapsed through your guilt. Take with you words, and return to the LORD; say to him, “Forgive all iniquity,
and receive what is good, that we may render as offerings the bullocks from our stalls..” (HOS 14: 2-3)
“Take with you words”—this is what we can do with Our Lord; this is what we can do with our spouses, children and relatives, with our friends and associates. Our words can be based on daily “magic”—please, I am sorry, forgive me, and thank you. When we take with us words to communicate our love and our gift of selves, we can build good relationships.
“Repent, says the Lord; the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed. They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts and turned their backs, not their faces, to me.” (JER 7: 24)
How important it is to listen to Our Lord. He brought to us the words of life and truth and He is the way we should walk. When we are meditating on His words and when we put His words into our hearts, we show Him our faces.
“Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, for I am gracious and merciful.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“However, take care and be earnestly on your guard not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live, but teach them to your children and to your children’s children.” (DT 4: 9)
This translation is a little bit different from the original. In the original we have not a memory, but a heart: “nor let them slip away from your heart…” This is the right place where God’s words should land—our hearts. When we commune with His words, we are close to His heart, and we put Him in our hearts—this is the beginning of community and our everlasting lives.
“Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life; you have the words of everlasting life.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Do not let us be put to shame, but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.
Deliver us by your wonders, and bring glory to your name, O Lord.” (DN 3: 41-43)
These words we can repeat again and again in every moment of our lives: “deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.” Our future in heaven depends not on our achievements but on His “kindness and great mercy. Today is the moment to “return to Him with our whole hearts” because He is “gracious and merciful.”
“Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart; for I am gracious and merciful.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.” (LK 1: 38)
Our world was created because God said the word and “so it was.” Today we celebrate a new creation, the beginning of the redemption and the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. Our Lady accepted the vocation announced by the Angel: “May it be done to me according to your word.” When we accept our vocations and when we say the same during our daily meditations, we are cooperating with God, bringing glory to His name.
“The Word of God became flesh and made his dwelling among us; and we saw his glory.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’ He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.’” (LK 13: 6-9)
We do not have a future. We do not have a past. We have a present time. We have this year, this month, this week, this day and this Lent for making our lives significant, important and worthy. The only way to do it is to be connected with Our Lord and love Him and others. Love is the only fruit God expects from us.
“Repent, says the Lord; the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance; Who does not persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency, and will again have compassion on us, treading underfoot our guilt?” (MI 7: 18-19)
God, Who loves, Who “has compassion on us,” and Who “removes guilt and pardons sin” “delights in clemency.” We can do the same in our marriages—no anger, but gentleness; no changing our spouses, but ourselves; no demands, but the gift of self. When we delight in clemency, we can enjoy our relationships in a very new way.
“I will get up and go to my father and shall say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“When his brothers saw that their father loved him best of all his sons, they hated him so much that they would not even greet him.” (GN 37: 4)
Jealousy is so bad—“they hated him so much that they would not even greet him.” Those who have younger siblings know that parents also learn about parenting and can grow. How often the youngest is the most loved because parents learn over the years that love is the most important, not education. It is good to expect high standards from children, but expectations without love don’t bring good fruits.
“Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.” (Gospel Acclamation)