Day 3

Do I believe that God chooses me and loves me BECAUSE of my weaknesses?

Do I think I need to be flawless to be loved by God?

What “weaknesses” can I give to God over these days?

Confession is a sacrament where I can experience peace, forgiveness, understanding, and love. I can leave sins and mistakes behind and grow in freedom and new beginnings. Have I thought about going to confession this week?

Where can I decide not to be perfect but to be more God’s?

Can I make God part of my life or just someone in the background?



Jesus had been preaching and performing miracles in those cities, but they would not repent. He had gone all the way to Chorazin and Bethsaida to teach them about the Mercy of God and the possibility of helping them to repent and restart a new life, but not many were willing to change. Their problem wasn't that they had done bad things (we all have). They probably had grown used to their sins and didn't have any interest in changing. A family went to the circus. As they arrived early at the show they went to see the animals that were due to perform. Among them was a massive elephant. The boy was surprised that the elephant was tied to a small pole with a thin rope. He asked the handler why the elephant never escaped. "Oh boy, it did try!" answered the man. "When elephants are little they are tied to the pole. They try for a long time to escape with all their might but, since they are still babies, they can't. Eventually they give up. Elephants have a good memory. They never forget that it was impossible. So they never try again!" It happens sometimes with sinners. They get used to their sins and eventually consider it impossible to change. In a way, it is true that it is 'impossible' for them to change... but "with God nothing will be impossible" (Lk 1:37). Chorazin, Bethsaida, Sodom, Gomorra, Tyre or Sidon, or Judas or Peter or Saul or Augustine or you or me... all of us can change for the better. We are all sinners called to be saints. We all have sins to regret and grace to accept. We can all stay, like the elephant, tied to our miseries and sins, wallowing in the mud of our temptations, or else we can cut off our ties with the help of God and break free to fly high, to Heaven! Just as Jesus went to those places, so He always comes to help sinners to repent. Quite rightly, St Augustine wrote, "there is no saint without a past, no sinner without a future." Mary, Refuge of Sinners, pray for us!

As he drew near to the gate of the city of Naim, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a large crowd from the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, "Do not weep." And he came and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, "Young man, I say to you, arise." And the dead man sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all; and they glorified God, saying, "A great prophet has arisen among us!" and "God has visited his people!" God has certainly visited His people. That was sort of a visit. He came into the city exactly when He was needed. He saw the suffering of that widow and, the Gospel says, Jesus 'had compassion on her and said to her, "Do not weep."' And before anyone asked for help, He resurrected the young man. Jesus is the real picture of God, the Perfect Image of God: a compassionate God, a merciful God, a Lover more than a judge. Some people still have a different picture of God. A good Christian who went to China to spread the Good News spent the first month of his stay learning the language, attending Chinese lessons in a public academy. One day the Chinese teacher pointed at a word and asked for the meaning. As the pupils were hesitating, she wanted to give a clue and said, "What God is…?" The Christian pupil suddenly understood the mistake. She was pointing at the word 'chastiser.' Before anyone could answer, the young Christian asked his Guardian Angel for help and tried to find in the dictionary the word he had in mind. He found it at once and showed it to the teacher: 'Merciful.' We have the mission to spread the real picture of Our Lord. "God's face is the face of a merciful Father," said Pope Francis. In the same way that Jesus approached this lady and said to her "Do not weep," He gets closer to us. In moments of suffering, He is always closer than ever. We can understand that the tears of this lady didn't stop flowing. They were changed into tears of joy. That's what God does. Mary, Mother of Mercy, help me to show to the world the real face of God