Josemaría Escrivá Obras

At times the Lenten liturgy, with its emphasis on the consequences of man's abandonment of God, has a suggestion of tragedy, but that is not all. It is God who has the last word — and it is the word of his saving and merciful love and, therefore, the word of our divine filiation. Therefore, I repeat to you today, with St John: "See how greatly the Father has loved us; that we should be counted as God's children, should be indeed his children." Children of God, brothers of the Word made flesh, of him of whom it was said, "In him was life, and that life was the light of man." Children of the light, brothers of the light: that is what we are. We bear the only flame capable of setting fire to hearts made of flesh.

I'm going to stop now and continue the Mass, and I want each of us to consider what God is asking of him, what resolution, what decisions grace wants to encourage in him. And as you note these supernatural and human demands of self-giving and continuing struggle, remember that Jesus Christ is our model. And that Jesus, being God, allowed himself to be tempted, so that we might be in better spirits and feel certain of victory. For God does not lose battles, and if we are united to him, we will never be overcome. On the contrary, we can call ourselves victors and indeed be victors: good children of God.

Let us be happy. I am happy. I shouldn't be, looking at my life, making that personal examination of conscience which Lent requires. But I do feel happy, for I see that the Lord is seeking me again, that the Lord is still my Father. I know that you and I will surely see, with the light and help of grace, what things must be burned and we will burn them; what things must be uprooted and we will uproot them; what things have to be given up and we will give them up.

It's not easy. But we have a clear guide, which we should not and cannot do without. We are loved by God, and we will let the Holy Spirit act in us and purify us, so that we can embrace the Son of God on the cross, and rise with him, because the joy of the resurrection is rooted in the cross.

Mary, our Mother, "help of Christians, refuge of sinners": intercede with your Son to send us the Holy Spirit, to awaken in our hearts the decision to go ahead confidently, making us hear deep in our soul the call which filled with peace the martyrdom of one of the first Christians: "Come, return to your Father," he is waiting for you.

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