TUESDAY 3RD WEEK
Teã Schuetz, C ‘16
"But with contrite heart and humble spirit let us be received; as though it were burnt offerings of rams and bullocks, or thousands of fat lambs, so let our sacrifice be in your presence today as we follow you unreservedly; for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame. And now we follow you with our whole heart, we fear you and we pray to you."
Just as the people Azariah is referring to in the passage above offer their contrite and trusting hearts to God and ask God to receive them in His mercy as a sacrifice, so we are called to do. Nothing we can do will make us deserving of His mercy, but surely there is something we could sacrifice out of love for God. But what worldly thing do we have that we can “give up” that will ever be enough to repay the one who humbly became flesh and dwelt among us only to die so that we might have life? Well…what is more worldly than sin? How unfit a gift for the King of Glory and yet, Christ desires us to give our sins to Him so He can heal us.
How wholly sacrificial is our God who desires nothing more than for us to kneel before Him with our bruised and battered, but contrite, hearts, just so He can heal them. Nothing more than for us to wrap up all of our mistakes and human weakness, tie them together with a bow, and present them to Him, just so He can lighten our burden by adding them to the weight He carried on His own shoulders on the road to Calvary. And in the process of doing so, we receive grace to better know, love, and serve God and our neighbors.
Grace is a gift, but we can only receive as much grace as we are open to receive. Just as in the famous painting of Christ knocking on the door without a doorknob, He will wait patiently for us to invite Him into our hearts. So this Lent, let’s invite Him in and allow Him to bathe us in grace so that He can change our hearts and we can follow God unreservedly.
Lord, my heart has been worn down by sin. Help me to humbly and sincerely offer it up to You so I may accept the grace You have in store for me. Replace my heart with Yours so I may sacrifice my life for others as You have sacrificed Your life for mine. Amen.
Dn 3: 25,34-43, Ps 25: 4-9; Mt 18: 21-35