Mercy and Love

Dear Friends,

“God, who is rich in MERCY, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ… For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast.”

What beautiful and comforting words from Saint Paul in our second reading. We have hope and are people of confidence not because of anything we have done or might do but because of God’s MERCY to us sinners.

But how does God show forth His mercy? How does He make it visible to us? He does so in and through His only Son, Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ own words, “For God so loved the world that he GAVE his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” That word gave is crucial. God’s love caused Him not simply to send His Son into this world, not simply to share our humanity. Jesus enters into the very depths of humanity’s depravity, suffering, illness, into death itself. And by His entrance into all of this, He conquers and brings forth a victory for all of us. He transfigures this world and everything in it by His sacrifice and His love. By His grace, not our works, we are transfigured by Him.

Jesus goes on to reveal the salvific plan of God fashioned by Him from the beginning and fulfilled by Jesus Himself. God did not send Jesus to condemn the world. God is not trying to work out His anger issues. God is not striving to get something for Himself. God is purely love and

sending His Son is total love, absolute mercy.

This weekend we celebrated Pope Francis’ 24 Hours for the Lord. Hopefully, many people took advantage of the opportunity for adoration and confession. Next Sunday, after the Masses, we will make confession available to our people once again. We trust that this additional opportunity will be helpful especially for those who may have difficulty in getting to Church for the regularly scheduled times. Confessions will be heard in Chapel at the conclusion of the Sunday Masses, March 18.

There is no better tonic for the soul, no better preparation for Easter than to encounter the MERCY and LOVE of our God in sacramental confession. Come, that you “might have eternal life.”

God bless you, God love you,

Monsignor McCulken

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