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.
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.
—Kristi Gonsalves-McCabePlease share the Good Word with your friends!