Steadfast love, not burnt offerings, for the Lord

LENT 2020 – Day 25

Readings: Hos 5, 15-6,6; Ps 50, 3-4,18-19,20-21; Lk 18, 9-14

Like a child who yearns for the love and not the riches of his parents, God asks of us steadfast love and not sacrifice. But alas, we turn to Him only in difficult times – maybe when a dear one is in hospital or a near one is answering an exam. At other times we may pretend to be ‘self-made’ and self-sufficient… What a travesty of the truth, when in fact we can move only at God’s bidding.

Who is this God of ours? Do we really wish to know Him? Knowing our Creator and Saviour is a human need; loving Him, our bounden duty. However, our conceit prompts us to assume that we have done God a favour by our charitable work. Sometimes we compare ourselves favourably with others, 'lesser mortals'.

That only goes to prove that we encounter God by human standards. Or that we don’t know Him well enough. For His part, God loves the humble. He showed love to that loathsome tax collector who opened his heart out, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ It is the likes of these that go home happy, “for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted,” says the Lord.

The rule of thumb is that we shouldn’t sit in judgement. Not only are we unaware of the difficult times the other is going through, it doesn’t even befit us to judge. Only our Father in Heaven is entitled to do so. Our role is to smile, say a good word, and love!