FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
FEBRUARY 17, 2021
WORD of the DAY
Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning. Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment. (Joel 2: 12 – 13)
How shall I live this Word?
The text of the prophet Joel is a pressing invitation to conversion centered on the affirmation that God is “gracious and merciful, slow to anger, rich in kindness”, thus the center of the invitation is to return to Him with all our heart and with external acts like fasting, weeping, and mourning. These have meaning only if they express the attitude of interior sincerity which is based on the face of God who is love and fidelity. In God’s ‘jealousy’ for His people, His passionate love for them is revealed. This is a further element that the Liturgy places at the beginning of the Lenten journey, an invitation to turn one’s gaze not on oneself and one’s own fragility but essentially on God and on His mercy.
Lord Jesus, convert us to Your love. Your heart burns for us with compassion and goodness. Grant that we may remain in You!
The Voice of Hermann Hesse, Novelist
Love must not be implored or even demanded. Love must have the strength to draw certainty in itself. Then it will not be drawn, but it will draw.
FMA, Rome E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sanbiagio.org email@example.com Blog: livingscripture.wordpress.com Comment by Sr. Emilia Di Massimo, FMA