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Tuesday, February 24, 2004

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James 4:1-10
Psalm 55
Mark 9:30-37

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a clean weep

"Begin to lament, to mourn, and to weep." —James 4:9

"There is an appointed time for everything" (Eccl 3:1), including a "time to weep" (Eccl 3:4). Because of pandemic, unrepented sin, now is the time to weep. Let our "laughter be turned into mourning" (Jas 4:9). Tomorrow we will begin Lent, and the Lord through His Church will command us again: "Yet even now, says the Lord, return to Me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning" (Jl 2:12). There can be hope in tears, "for sorrow for God's sake produces a repentance without regrets, leading to salvation, whereas worldly sorrow brings death" (2 Cor 7:10). "Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing" (Ps 126:5), for "there will likewise be more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent" (Lk 15:7).

Mardi Gras is celebrated in several countries today. Therefore, many people think it is not a time to weep but a time to party. Nevertheless, the way Mardi Gras is celebrated in many places is a sinful nullification of God's word by a human custom (see Mk 7:13). Therefore, Mardi Gras itself, as it is often observed, is one more reason to weep.

Today, let us make acts of contrition, that is, acts of sorrow and hatred for sin. There can be hope in weeping. Weep as Jesus wept (see Lk 19:41).

Prayer:  Father, may I see sin as You do.

Promise:  "Whoever welcomes a child such as this for My sake welcomes Me." —Mk 9:37

Praise:  Alice takes the call to repentance very seriously as she maintains the old custom of going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the beginning of Lent.

Reference:  (For Lent, order our tape to help you with repentance, which is entitled Sacrament of Reconciliation, on audio AV 47A-3 or video V-47A.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 18, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 24, 2003