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"When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, He repented of the evil that He had threatened to do to them; He did not carry it out." —Jonah 3:10
The Lord promised us on the first day of Lent that "now is the acceptable time! Now is the day of salvation!" (2 Cor 6:2) The Lord wants us to have the greatest expectations for Lent. He uses the joys and tragedies of life to sensitize us to His amazing plans for this Lent. He wants us to expect nothing less than the glories of Easter, that is, risen life forever with Jesus on earth and in heaven. The Lord graces us this Lent to expect "immeasurably more than we ask or imagine" (Eph 3:20).
Today's first Mass reading raises our expectations for Lent. One-hundred and twenty-thousand citizens of the extremely violent city of Nineveh converted in one day at the prophetic word of Jonah (see Jon 4:11). The Lord once again did the impossible, since "for God all things are possible" (Mt 19:26).
This Lent, don't think the Lord won't convert terrorists, several leaders of Planned Parenthood, whole cities, entire countries (e.g. the USA), major media controllers, lukewarm Christians, your family, and your enemies. Don't ever tell the Lord He cannot do something. Look at history. When God Himself becomes a man, dies on a cross, and rises from the dead, what great miracles of conversion should we expect from such a God!
Prayer: Father, get me out of the rut of weakened faith. Beginning this Lent, may I "ride on the heights" (Is 58:14) of faith.
Promise: "At the judgment, the citizens of Nineveh will rise along with the present generation, and they will condemn it. For at the preaching of Jonah they reformed, but you have a greater than Jonah here." Lk 11:32
Praise: St. Casimir was son of the King of Poland. Many royal luxuries were available to him, but he chose simplicity and piety. He lived an austere life until he died at age twenty-three. He is the patron saint of both Poland and Lithuania.
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 8, 2019
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