The verse before today’s Gospel is one of my favorites, hands-down: “Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart; for I am gracious and merciful” (Joel 2:12-13).
It reads so gently to me. I particularly love the “even now” part. It makes me think of an instance when a young child tests their parents’ boundaries and asks, “Would you love me if I ran away? If I was angry with you?” The list could go on and on. And the parent responds, every time, “Even then, I would still love you.”
I want us all to similarly let that “even now” sink into our own hearts this Lent. That Our Father says to us:
Even now when you haven’t been to Mass or Confession in a while.
Even now when you haven’t been praying much.
Even now when you’ve been struggling with habitual sin.
Even now when you’ve been angry with Him.
Even now when you don’t feel much when you enter a church.
Even now when you doubt sometimes.
There isn’t anything you could be doing right now that would limit His mercy and compassion towards you if you return to Him. Let His words be gentle to you today and this Lent. He isn’t condemning you—He’s inviting you home.
Even now. Even if. He is gracious and merciful.Return to Him. // Annie Deddens Click To Tweet
Whom in your life could use some extra mercy? Turn to them with Lord’s gift of mercy.
Thank you for being here.
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