By Fr. Ernesto Caicedo, MSC

We are well into Lent, the third week already. Today we are offered a path of love, not sacrifice, to nurture our relationship with God.

We are all limited creatures. We are all sinners. And our limited knowledge, good deeds, fasting and tithing are not enough. A reading from Hosea and the Psalms both give us the key line, “It is love/mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.” Not pious rituals, not the usual donation, not the well-rewarded public service – but, as the Psalm says, “A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.”

The “burnt offering” that the Psalm says God won’t accept is like the prayer of the Pharisee. The “contrite spirit” is the spirit of the tax collector who “went home justified.” So, on this Lenten day, let us pray with the words of our brother the tax collector, “O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”

© 2020 Missionaries of the Sacred Heart
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