February 26, 2020
2 Cor 5:20-6:2
So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says, “At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.” See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Be the face of mercy
It’s Ash Wednesday. We are, once again, invited into the Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. I really love being on a Catholic, Jesuit campus on Ash Wednesday. All the usual classes, meetings, sights, and sounds are going on—but then there’s this palpable sense of shared experience. There’s an unstated sense of our collective sinfulness—and shared redemption. Like Pope Francis has said of himself—we are loved sinners. And churches are so full on Ash Wednesday—what a gift!
Today’s reading from Corinthians reminds us that we are ambassadors for Christ. I wonder what it would be like if each of us made a conscious decision this Lent, to reach out to someone that we don’t see at church at other times of the year? Not to guilt them back into returning, but as an expression of hospitality and welcome. Could God be calling each of us to be the face of mercy?
—Kristi Gonsalves-McCabe is the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Provost at Regis University.
God of mercy, please open my heart to those near me that are most in need of your tender embrace. Set my heart on fire with the desire to do your will. Amen.
THE POPE'S PRAYERS
Daily ExamenThe examen is a prayer popularized by St. Ignatius Loyola that helps us to recognize the ways that God is present and active in our daily lives. If you use an i-phone, make sure your mute switch is turned off to listen to the recording.
- Stillness: Quiet yourself. Close your eyes and be still. Remember that in this moment you are in God’s presence and that God is now loving you. Take time to let yourself be looked at by the Lord.
- Gratitude: Take a few moments to recall one or two things from today for which you are especially grateful. Give thanks to God for these gifts and take time to savor them.
- Review: Review the events of the past day from start to finish, as if you were watching a movie. Notice the ways that God has been present today. Pay attention to your emotions and stirrings within your heart.
- Sorrow: As you have reflected upon your day, you may have noticed a moment from the day in which you have fallen short. Bring this experience to prayer and ask for God’s healing and forgiveness.
- Looking Forward: Look ahead to the next day and ask for God’s help and grace as you move forward with activities, commitments, and interactions with others. When you are ready, conclude your examen with the Our Father.
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