Daily Devotional for Lent 2017 | Fourth Week of Lent
Fourth Week of Lent: God is Waiting for Us
“Our Lord, who during this Lent is asking us to change, is not a tyrannical master or a rigid and implacable judge: he is our Father. He speaks to us about our lack of generosity, our sins, our mistakes; but he does so in order to free us from them, to promise us his friendship and his love. Awareness that God is our Father brings joy to our conversion: it tells us that we are returning to our Father’s house.
“All men are children of God. But a child can look upon his father in many ways. We must try to be children who realize that the Lord, by loving us as his children, has taken us into his house, in the middle of the world, to be members of his family, so that what is his is ours, and what is ours is his, and to develop that familiarity and confidence which prompts us to ask him, like children, for the moon!
“A child of God treats the Lord as his Father. He is not obsequious and servile, he is not merely formal and well-mannered: he is completely sincere and trusting. Men do not scandalize God. He can put up with all our infidelities. Our Father in heaven pardons any offense when his child returns to him, when he repents and asks for pardon. The Lord is such a good Father that he anticipates our desire to be pardoned and comes forward to us, opening his arms laden with grace.
“Now I’m not inventing anything. Remember the parable which Jesus told to help us understand the love of our Father who is in heaven: the parable of the prodigal son. ‘But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and took pity on him; running up, he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him.’ That’s what the sacred text says: he covered him with kisses. Can you put it more humanly than that? Can you describe more graphically the paternal love of God for men?
“When God runs toward us, we cannot keep silent, but with St Paul we exclaim: Abba, Pater: ‘Father, my Father!’, for, though he is the creator of the universe, he doesn’t mind our not using high-sounding titles, nor worry about our not acknowledging his greatness. He wants us to call him Father; he wants us to savor that word, our souls filling with joy.
“Human life is in some way a constant returning to our Father’s house. We return through contrition, through the conversion of heart which means a desire to change, a firm decision to improve our life and which, therefore, is expressed in sacrifice and self-giving. We return to our Father’s house by means of that sacrament of pardon in which, by confessing our sins, we put on Jesus Christ again and become his brothers, members of God’s family.
“God is waiting for us, like the father in the parable, with open arms, even though we don’t deserve it. It doesn’t matter how great our debt is. Just like the prodigal son, all we have to do is open our heart, to be homesick for our Father’s house, to wonder at and rejoice in the gift which God makes us of being able to call ourselves his children, of really being his children, even though our response to him has been so poor.”
St. Josemaria Escriva
Christ is Passing By, no. 64
The St. Josemaria Institute Daily Devotional for Lent 2017 –
brief Lenten readings to help you each day spend 15-30 prayerful minutes with our Lord:
Fourth Sunday of Lent
“I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.” (Jn 8:12)
This Lent, as you read and contemplate the Gospels, a goal to aim for: “May your behavior and your conversation be such that everyone who sees or hears you can say: This man reads the life of Jesus Christ” (The Way, no. 2).
Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent
“Seek good and not evil so that you may live, and the LORD will be with you.” (Am 5:14)
“You see yourself so poor and weak that you recognize you are unworthy of having God listen to you. But… aren’t you a child of God? He listens to you, ‘for he is good, and his mercy endures forever.’” (The Way, no. 93)
Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
“A clean heart create for me, O God; give me back the joy of your salvation.” (Ps 51:12a,14a)
Although your mind, daily tasks, and heart pull you in many directions, and you find prayer difficult at times: “Persevere in prayer. Persevere, even when your efforts seem sterile. Prayer is always fruitful” (The Way, no. 101).
Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
“I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord; whoever believes in me will never die.” (Jn 11:25a,26)
Your daily examination of conscience helps you to see yourself honestly and humbly in the presence of God. “Don’t let your defects and imperfections nor even your more serious falls, take you away from God. A weak child, if he is wise, tries to keep near his Father.” (The Way, no. 880)
Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent
“God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.” (Jn 3:16)
“By calling you to be an apostle, our Lord has reminded you, so that you will never forget it, that you are a child of God.” (The Way, no. 919) How do you live each day as an apostle and child of God?
Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
“One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Mt 4:4b)
Lent is an ideal time to pray and engrave in your heart that: “In Christ we have every ideal: for he is King, he is Love, he is God” (The Way, no. 426).
Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Today’s Readings (Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord):
“Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.” (Lk 8:15)
Today, fill your heart with peace knowing that you are never alone in your efforts and desires to serve God faithfully: “All the sins of your life seem to be rising up against you. Don’t give up hope! On the contrary, call your holy mother Mary, with the faith and abandonment of a child. She will bring peace to your soul” (The Way, no. 498).
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