Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 24
May God Always Find Us Open and Receptive to His Divine Will, Seeking His Divine Mercy in Our Lives with a Truly Humbled and Contrite Heart.
A common theme which runs through all of our Readings today is expressed in the words of our psalmist in the beginning of today’s Responsorial, “Your ways, O LORD, make known to me; teach me your paths, Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior.”
And His Truth is this – that God is our Creator who gave to each of us, out of the profoundness of His unfathomable and infinite Love, the gift of life and the gift of an immortal soul, so that we may have a share in His Divinity – that He calls each of us into an intimate relationship with Himself, a relationship founded upon Divine Love.
But the sad truth which we find in this relationship is that, since the days of our first parents, man has consistently fractured this relationship through sin. Man has chosen, through his own volition, arrogance and willful pride, the desire to follow his own gods, creating his own truth – all which sadly results in the spiritual harm to his or her own soul.
Yet, God would not be so easily pushed aside. For, from all eternity and before the creation of the heavens and Earth, the Divine Mercy of Almighty God, in His providential Love for His beloved children, chose to send His Son, the Eternal Word, to take human flesh upon Himself so that He may teach us God’s Truth, a Truth which surpasses all the truths which man had created for himself.
And through His Son, the Eternal Father reached out to mend that fractured relationship which had existed since the days of Adam and Eve. But all the sins that had been committed, and all the sins that would follow until the end of time, would be so great that it would require the ultimate sacrifice which only the Eternal Word Incarnate could fulfill – a sacrifice in which our Savior offered Himself to His Father for each and every one of us.
This was The Divine Mercy is which the Blood of Jesus Christ would be shed for our salvation.
In our First Reading, we read about the mission which was given to the prophet Jonah, and how he walked through “the great city of Nineveh” announcing the coming of God’s Justice, and the residents of the city turned away from sin, and God “…repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them.” For, in their sinfulness, they recognized the need for God’s Mercy.
In today’s Gospel, we read how our Lord, Himself, proclaimed in Galilee, “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” And people began to follow Him and listen to His teachings, as He spoke about the immeasurable Love and limitless Mercy which God offers to all His children.
In spite of all this, we know only too well how easy it is to fall into the traps which Satan has set before us, and how sin can once again fracture our relationship with God! And Saint Paul, himself, was aware of this when he wrote to the Christian community in Corinth, for we read in His First Letter, “I tell you, brothers and sisters, the time is running out.” And he reminds them that our life here is but a brief moment when compared to eternity and the judgment which awaits each of us.
Yet, we know through Sacred Scripture and the teaching authority of the Church that God’s Love and Mercy are always available to us, and the revelations given to Saint Faustina remind us that even the greatest of sinners have a greater right to the mercy which God wishes to offer His children, for it is His will that all be saved and none be lost.
For we find in the Book of the Prophet Micah, “Who is a God like you, who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance; Who does not persist in anger forever, but instead delights in mercy, And will again have compassion on us, treading underfoot our iniquities?”
But as we look at the world and the culture in which we live today, we realize that many are not listening, for their hearts are cold and hardened. Even in the United States, upon which one of its major founding principles was religious freedom, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI warned in a presentation he had given in 2012 that a “radical secularism” threatens the core values of our American culture, in which an atheistic relativism has permeated almost every aspect of our lives.
And do we not see and experience this today, as a radical movement is underway within certain elements of our society attacking all that is sacred, all that is virtuous and honorable, belittling true glory, praise and worship to our God?! Do we not see the secular media and other institutions of government and academia refusing to even mention the name of Jesus Christ?!
And we sadly find this same “radical secularism” infecting many other countries and cultures throughout the world! All this brings to mind words our Lord once spoke long ago, “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
In all that we experience in this life, whether our experiences are filled with great joys or tremendous sorrows, may God always find us open and receptive to His Divine will, seeking His Divine Mercy in our lives with a truly humbled and contrite heart, for His Love for us is truly beyond all human understanding.
And may we make the words of today’s psalmist our own in our individual walks of faith, as we journey day-by-day trusting in God’s providential Love for us, “Your ways, O LORD, make known to me; teach me your paths, Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior.”
May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you. †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “Jonah began his journey through the city, and when he had gone only a single day’s walk announcing, ‘Forty days more and Nineveh shall be overthrown,’ the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.” (Jonah 3:4-5)
- “Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: ‘This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.’” (Mark 1:14b-15)
- “I tell you, brothers and sisters, the time is running out…For the world in its present form is passing away.” (1 Corinthians 7:29a, 31b)
- “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8b)
- “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ…” (Ephesians 2:4-5b)
- “Who is a God like you, who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance; Who does not persist in anger forever, but instead delights in mercy, And will again have compassion on us, treading underfoot our iniquities?” (Micah 7:18-19a)
- “But the LORD’s mercy is from age to age toward those who fear him. His salvation is for the children’s children, of those who keep his covenant and remember to carry out his precepts.” (Psalm 103:17-18)
- “Make known to me your ways, LORD; teach me your paths. Guide me by your fidelity and teach me, for you are God my savior.” (Psalm 25:4-5b)
Prayer for the Day
“O Greatly Merciful God, Infinite Goodness,
today all mankind calls out from the abyss of its misery
to Your Mercy – to Your compassion, O God;
and it is with its mighty voice of misery that it cries out.
do not reject the prayer of this earth’s exiles!
O Lord, Goodness beyond our understanding,
Who are acquainted with our misery through and through,
and know that by our own power we cannot ascend to You.
“We implore You: anticipate us with Your grace
and keep on increasing Your mercy in us,
that we may faithfully do Your holy will
all through our life and at death’s hour.
“Let the omnipotence of Your Mercy
shield us from the darts of our salvation’s enemies,
that we may, with confidence, as Your children,
await Your final coming – that day known to You alone.
And we expect to obtain everything promised us by Jesus
in spite of all our wretchedness.
“For Jesus is our Hope:Prayer for Divine Mercy (Saint Faustina, Diary, § 1570)
Through His Merciful Heart, as through an open gate,
we pass through to Heaven.”