Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, for I am gracious and merciful. // Joel 2:12
Today’s readings are so abundant I wasn’t sure where my reflection would land. I initially felt called to share on the reading from Jeremiah particularly that “faithfulness has disappeared; the word itself is banished from their speech” (7:28). As I step into the world, I wonder at times if this is what has happened. I walk among faithful people who have become faithless as we continue this trial that has affected us all.
Is the Word not penetrating our hearts such that the Word itself is banished from our own speech? I become distracted with what’s going on out there, I don’t allow the Word to penetrate my innermost being to increase my own faithfulness and walk with the Lord.
Then I kept reading and the Responsorial Psalm cried out, “If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” I know my heart becomes hardened to protect myself from being hurt further. At times I resist being vulnerable because it’s not reciprocated or I feel as if I will be left without.
My heart finally settled on the verse before the Gospel, “Even now says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart, for I am gracious and merciful.”
I know giving up sweets (I miss my sweetened latte already), snacks (my adult lunchable is my favorite), minimizing screen time (I am easily distracted) throughout the day, and increasing my prayer time is good for me. It also isn’t really mortification, but it does increase my interior obedience.
Ultimately the Lord isn’t focused on my external offering, it is my interior motives that allows me to return to Him. It is the posture of my heart in what I am offering that will allow His grace and mercy to take root in me.
Sister, maybe you are in a season where you feel like Lent has escaped you or you aren’t getting something out of it. Today, return to Him with your whole heart and allow Him to cultivate His grace and mercy in you throughout your Lenten journey.Allow His grace and mercy to take root. // Mytae Carrasco Wallace Click To Tweet