stir the lord to concern (jl 2:18)
"Then the Lord was stirred to concern for His land and took pity on His people." -—Joel 2:18
God is a God of mercy. Jesus has revealed that nothing causes more joy in heaven than a repentant sinner. The Lord apparently cannot resist a humble, contrite, repentant heart (Ps 51:19).
Those of us who are parents are blessed to get a glimpse of the heart of God in this area. When my children have approached me truly sorry for what they have done wrong, my fatherly heart melts with love for them. If I want good things for my children, how much more the Father longs for good, pure hearts for us.
The austerity, self-denial, and discipline of Lent is only going to flow from a soul that has been set on fire from the fountain of mercy that gushes forth from the heart of the Lord. He is readily stirred to concern, pity, and mercy for His people (Jl 2:18). He thirsts (Jn 19:28) to love us, shower mercy upon us, and wrap us in His arms of mercy.
What do you think will make for a successful Lent in God's eyes? Forty days without chocolate? That's a good start, but God wants forty days immersed in His merciful love, abandoned to His Providence.
Prayer: Father, I surrender my will to Yours. Consume me not only this Lent, but every moment of the rest of my life. I am completely Yours.
Promise: "For our sakes God made Him Who did not know sin, to be sin, so that in Him we might become the very holiness of God." —2 Cor 5:21
Praise: Sts. Cyril and Methodius, who were brothers, successfully evangelized Moravia, Bohemia, and present-day Bulgaria. They persevered in their mission to Moravia despite repeated persecution from the missionaries who had failed before them.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 10, 2017
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