Fifth Sunday of Lent
by Fr. Ivan Olmo

“Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart.” In the Act of Contrition, we express our sadness and sorrow for hurting God with our sins. We seek God’s mercy and beg for his peace.  We promise God, our Father that with the help of his grace we will not sin again. We know that we are weak and are prone to sin.  We are always in need of God’s mercy. Thank God for the gift of his sacraments that heal us and help us to avoid sin and become more faithful to our baptismal promises. This is our Lenten call. To repent and return to God with all our heart. To return to his way, his word, his will. Lent is that special time when we allow the Lord to heal us from the effects of our sins.  It is a time to ask for the grace of forgiveness and to have a heart of forgiveness toward those who have hurt or wronged us. We do this in preparation to celebrate the Easter Season knowing that we have been delivered from darkness and have received the light of eternal life. This is the Easter gift received at Baptism, restored in the Sacrament of Penance and nourished in the Sacrifice of the Mass. When we were baptized, we entered into relationship with God. Our sins were erased. We became beloved children of God. God takes our heart and forms it into the Heart of Jesus. The Holy Spirit fills our heart with his holy fire and the awesome gift of his love. When we sin, we separate ourselves from God. Without his grace, without his love, without his light, we are blind and walk in darkness like sheep that have lost their way. That is why this season is so important for our faith, our souls and our spiritual journey. Our Lord wants us to be holy as he is holy – so he says, “even now… return to me with your whole heart; for I am gracious and merciful.” Our Lord wants to help us. He wants to forgive us. He wants to heal us. We can allow him by making a good confession. Lent is a time of God’s infinite love and divine mercy. It is a time to finally forgive and be forgiven. It is a time to return to the Lord so he can heal your heart and fill it with his love. Please, I beg you; do not let another season of grace simply pass you by.

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