In the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, God's Word pierces mankind's darkness and reveals a light that will always shine for those who walk in it.
In the first reading, God chooses one of Jesse's sons to be king. While Jesse presents seven sons, God doesn't choose any of them. God tells Samuel, "Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart."
Growing up, I remember Mother Angelica on EWTN commenting to callers who had been away from the sacrament of reconciliation or were afraid to go that they would feel so good afterward, that they should go out and buy a pizza. Such a comment came from a heart that had approached the sacrament and found peace in the deep mercy of God.
VATICAN CITY — Exercise a little courage and go to confession, turn away from selfishness and sin and back to God in the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis urged people at a Lenten penance service.
"When our desire to be healed becomes more courageous, it leads to prayer, to crying out fervently and persistently for help, as did Bartimaeus: 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me,'" the pope said, quoting from the Gospel of St. Mark.
Even with the fullness of the Holy Spirit, we can't grasp the depths of God's revealed Word or the mysteries offered. At best, we merely glimpse how glorious is the life promised by God's Word.
The first reading for the Fifth Sunday of Lent is an excellent example. As great as was the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt or the destruction of Pharaoh's army in the Red Sea or the preservation of the Israelites in the desert for 40 years, none compare to what God has in store for us.
The readings for the 4th Sunday of Easter speak about our present and our future. When Jesus tells His Jewish audience, "I have other sheep," He is referring to the non-Jews who will hear His word. That includes you and me.
Every day, Christ the Good Shepherd searches for us. You might say, "But I am baptized and I belong to Him." That is partially true. You have committed yourself to follow Him, but you don't fully understand what it means to follow Him.