“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.” (JON 3: 4-5)
It was Jonah who announced the news: “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,” and “the people of Nineveh believed God.” How important is the role of prophets—they announced God’s will, God’s plans to save our lives. We also started this Lent to cooperate with God’s will and to return to Him with our “whole heart” 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)
“He went on to say, ‘How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Whoever curses father or mother shall die.’ Yet you say, ‘If someone says to father or mother, ‘Any support you might have had from me is qorban’’ (meaning, dedicated to God), you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother. You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things.” (MK 7: 10-12)
Our Lord protects our dignity and our relationships. He knows how important family is, how much love of our parents can do in our lives and how much our respect for our parents is important for our relationship with our children. Good and strong families are crucial for the society.
“Incline my heart, O God, to your decrees; And favor me with your law.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’”
Our Lady takes care of us in every kind of situation. When She is invited into our lives, She will keep Her eyes open and will react to our needs: “When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’” She helps and She integrates us with Our Lord—He is the only answer to all our needs.
“God has called us through the Gospel to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.” (LK 12: 8-9)
One of the most prestigious gifts we have received from God—protection of “the angels of God” and our Guardian Angels. They are with us all the time, in every moment of our lives; they watch us daily and nightly, protect us from every evil and are our true friends. Please remember to stay with them as closely as possible.
“The Spirit of truth will testify to me, says the Lord, and you also will testify.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles.” (MT 5: 39-41)
We have our habits, our solutions, and our traditions, like “An eye for an eye” or “tooth for a tooth.” Our Lord came to change our world and give us a civilization of love. We can change our world and “one who is evil” only when we love and we listen to Our Lord and when His teaching will be “a lamp to our feet and light to our path.”
“A lamp to my feet is your word, a light to my path.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” (JN 20: 22-23)
Our Lord “breathed on the apostles,” and they received the Holy Spirit. With Him came an authority and power: “whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” Especially today, on Divine Mercy Sunday, we are so grateful for the beauty of the sacrament of penance, which gives us access to God’s heart and forgiveness.
“You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord; Blessed are those who have not seen me, but still believe!” (Gospel Acclamation)
“There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” (ACTS 4: 12)
This is so important to remember: who we are and Who Our Lord is. Jesus is “given to the human race by which we are to be saved”; we are His beloved children who received this gift—salvation. We are invited to share with everybody our joy: “let us be glad and rejoice in it.”
“This is the day the LORD has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The Apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.’ People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat.” (MK 6: 30-31)
This time, when I am back at my House and my Community, I will start with a day of reflection–our day to “come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” We need to rest with Him, in His presence, just “hear his voice” and do nothing else. When we serve, when we help people, and when “people are coming and going in great numbers,” we need to protect our relationship with God and “come away.” We can’t serve when we do not have time to stop, to reflect, and to enjoy our relationships.
“My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward, knelt down before him, and said, ‘My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.’ Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples.” (MT 9: 18-19)
Whoever came to Our Lord asking for help: “my daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live” could expect His immediate reaction: “Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples.” We can follow Him too. Sometimes it will be our neighbour, sometimes an old friend, sometimes somebody else, but always “lay your hand on him/her” to bring life back.
“Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel.” (Gospel
“In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.” (JN 14: 2-4)
We are expected in Heaven; Our Lord personally is preparing a place for you and me: “I am going to prepare a place for you.” And when everything is ready—a place and us—He “will come back again and take us to himself” because we are His beloved children, and “where I am you also may be.”
“I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father except through me.” (Gospel Acclamation)