Lenten Devotional: March 17

Psalm 69:1-38; Psalm 73; Psalm 95;
Jeremiah 5:1-9
; Romans 2:25-3:18;
John 5:30-47

How can I pardon you? Jeremiah 5:7

The prophet Jeremiah speaking for Yahweh asks his listeners a question that is universal in some form among believers. How can our numerous sins be pardoned? John provides a response in the words of Jesus in 5:39 and 40, “You search scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and that it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” Lent is our time to remember, reflect on and prepare to celebrate the coming of Jesus to give his life on our behalf.

We do not need to search the scriptures for lists of musts and must nots that if followed will earn us a pardon. The pardon comes through the simple acceptance of our need to make the spirit of the Jesus Prayer an essential part of our being. Perhaps a simple, yet routine part of our Lenten discipline could be to at least once each day to pray and reflect on the Jesus Prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Many of us observe Lent by giving up something from or adding something to our routine that will be a daily reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. We could simply add the Jesus prayer to our reflection after we have said “no” to a delicious dessert or intentionally done a daily Christ-like act.

PRAY for All those suffering in mind, body or soul.

Today the Church remembers Patrick, Bishop and Missionary for Ireland