Do not let us be put to shame,
but deal with us in Your kindness and great mercy.
Azariah asks God to remember His mercies.
He places his complete trust in God.
These days, we place our lives in God’s hands,
and we let God forgive us.
The challenge of the Gospel is to forgive
as we have been forgiven.
How often we are so very much harder on others
than our God is on us!
An important Lenten examination of conscience.
“So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”
“Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?” …Matthew 18:33
“What is human mercy like? It makes you concerned for the hardship of the poor. What is divine mercy like? It forgives sinners…
In this world God is cold and hungry in all the poor, as He Himself said (Mt 25:40)… What sort of people are we? When God gives, we want to receive, when He asks, we refuse to give? When a poor man is hungry, Christ is in need, as He said Himself: “I was hungry and you gave me no food” (v. 42). Take care not to despise the hardship of the poor, if you would hope, without fear, to have your sins forgiven…
What He receives on earth He returns in heaven.
I put you this question, dearly beloved – what is it you want, what is it you are looking for, when you come to church? What indeed if not mercy? Show mercy on earth and you will receive mercy in heaven. A poor man is begging from you and you are begging from God, he asks for a scrap, you ask for eternal life… And so when you come to church give whatever alms you can to the poor in accordance with your means.”
St Caesarius of Arles (470-543)
God of infinite love,
I thank You for this reminder of Your love
and Your call that we be more patient,
gentle and compassionate with others.
Here in the middle of Lent,
I turn to You to beg for Your help.
Please soften my heart.
Help me to let go of judging others.
I ask You this, through Christ our Lord.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.