Week four of Lent, one more to go to enter the top most celebrations of our Life, the Holy Week and Easter Triduum. We have been talking about the re-creation of our Image in its fullest Grace. This week the Church is helping us to enjoy God’s abundance of Mercy. When we read the Book of Leviticus chapter 16, a variety of Sacrifices are asked to offer for the expiation of sins.
Now the importance of Christ’s Paschal Mystery is: In reconciling the world to God, Christ stood in no need of reconciliation for himself. Christ shows that he does not need to atone for sin on his own behalf: he is no slave of sin but, as Son of God, is free from all sin. His blood could pay the ransom for all the sins of the whole world. The one who has no debt to pay for himself is the right person to set others free.
Is any man’s blood fit to redeem him, seeing that it was Christ who shed his blood for the redemption of all? Is anyone’s blood comparable to Christ’s? Is anyone great enough to make atonement for himself over and above the atonement which Christ has offered in himself, Christ who alone has reconciled the world to God by his blood? What greater victim, what more excellent sacrifice, what better advocate can there be than he who became the propitiation for the sins of all and gave his life for us as our redemption?
Return to me with all your heart and show a spirit of repentance. Return to the Lord your God, from whom you had been alienated by your sins. Do not despair of his mercy, no matter how great your sins, for great mercy will take away great sins. For the Lord is gracious and merciful and prefers the conversion of a sinner rather than his death. So, friends, let us take a U turn like the Prodigal Son to enjoy the Prodigal Father’s Abundance of Grace.
Let us Pray: O Merciful and Forgiving God, the sins I have committed are more in number than the sand of the sea; my transgressions are multiplied, O Lord, they are multiplied! I am not worthy to look up and see the height of heaven because of the multitude of my iniquities. And now I bend the knee of my heart, imploring you for your kindness. I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, and I acknowledge my transgressions. I earnestly implore you, forgive me,
O Lord, forgive me! Do not destroy me with my transgressions! Do not be angry with me forever or store up evil for me; do not condemn me to the depths of the earth. For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent, and in me you will manifest your goodness; for, unworthy as I am, you will save me according to your great mercy. Amen. [taken from the Prayer of King Manasseh].