Friday, March 11, 2011

Daily Lenten inspiration, March 11, 2011 (Friday after Ash Wednesday)

Transcript of homily recorded on March 11, 2011

By Monsignor Gerald McSorley

Among other Lenten practices, the church calls on us to fast, to do penance, and so forth. And our readings this morning speak of penitential practices.

In the Gospel, Jesus tells those who criticize him that the time will come when his disciples will fast, will do these penitential practices. And in the first reading we heard from the Prophet Isaiah very strong words beginning with the opening lines, "Cry out fill-throatedly." Cry out with a very strong voice, says the Lord. And what is the prophet to cry out? The prophet says, speaking for God, you complain to me because you pray and you do all of these fasting and other penitential practices and I don't respond; and God says, what is wrong with your fasting and so forth is that it's not coming from the heart, it doesn't bring about any change in your life. And one word that was very strong in today's responsorial psalm was the heart.

And so Lent speaks to us not just of external things and giving up something or doing this, but what's taking place in our hearts? The graces of Lent should change us from within, change our attitudes, and result in us being better persons in how we treat one another, how we are concerned about others, how we share with others, how we are compassionate.

So as we indeed continue with Lent and with some of the Lenten practices that we have decided to undertake, we need to ask ourselves now, how do I translate that into my actions and into my thoughts and attitudes?

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