Fifth Sunday in Lent, March 18, 2018
Jeremiah prophesied the dire consequences of turning away from God, but in today’s first reading he also promises the love and forgiveness of the Lord’s mercy. In Psalm 51, King David pleads for God’s compassion to thoroughly wash him of his guilt.
Turning back to God is what our Lenten journey is about, acknowledging our sins and returning to the joyful purpose of our lives.
The words of Psalm 51 are familiar to our ears: we spoke them on Ash Wednesday at the beginning of Lent. At every Liturgy of the Eucharist, the priest presider utters the request to “Wash me, O Lord, from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”
The call for repentance is one that is fundamental to our Catholic Christian Tradition. And the Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the greatest gifts offered as an opportunity for real conversion, healing, and happiness in our lives. In order to do so, we need the grace of God given to us in the sacrament. With total trust in God’s mercy, promised by the prophet Jeremiah and Jesus’ cries and tears, we can free ourselves more and more from the condition of the human spirit that tempts us away from what is good.
In addition to the standard Act of Contrition (“My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart”—or for us older Catholics: “O My God! I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee!”), another option for confessing our sins takes lines from today’s Psalm:
“Lord God, in your goodness have mercy on me:
do not look on my sins,
but take away all my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart
And renew within me a steadfast spirit.”
Lent is drawing to a close. Next Sunday is Palm Sunday. But it is never too late to turn back. Repent! By doing so, you will be given the joy of salvation. And that is a promise made by someone far greater than me.
Click the links below to view the Liturgical Readings for each day of the week.
- Readings for Sunday, March 18, 2018, Year A
- Readings for Sunday, March 18. 2018, Year B
- Readings for Monday, March 19, 2018
- Readings for Tuesday, March 20, 2018
- Readings Wednesday, March 21, 2018
- Readings for Thursday, March 22, 2018
- Readings for Friday, March 23, 2018
- Readings for Saturday, March 24, 2018