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Wednesday, April 7, 2004

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Holy Week

Isaiah 50:4-9
Psalm 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34
Matthew 26:14-25

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saving the best for last?

"I will praise the name of God in song, and I will glorify Him with thanksgiving." —Psalm 69:31

On this last day of Lent, we pray the last Mass of Lent. For many, this should be a Mass of thanksgiving. By God's grace, you have had a wonderful, holy Lent. You are prepared to pray the seventy-hour Triduum and to make the greatest commitment to the Lord in the renewal of the baptismal promises on Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday. You can say with the prophet Isaiah: "Morning after morning He opens my ear that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, have not turned back" (Is 50:4-5). Offer this last Mass of Lent in thanksgiving for a Lent of faithfulness and holiness.

Others have not had such a good Lent. Your Lent may have been marked and marred by sin and unfaithfulness. You need to offer this last Mass of Lent as a Mass of repentance and mercy. You need to repent and cry out for God's mercy before you do worse things and even deny or betray Christ. The Lord forgave Judas, Peter, and you. Judas, however, did not receive Jesus' forgiveness and despaired, while Peter repented after committing several sins but before he could do worse things. Receive Jesus' forgiveness and mercy as Peter did. Jesus can perform marvelous miracles as He saves the best for last (see Jn 2:3ff). The Lord has a future full of hope for you (Jer 29:11). Enter that future of hope through the door of repentance and mercy.

Prayer:  Father, after repenting, "I give no thought to what lies behind but push on to what is ahead. My entire attention is on the finish line as I run toward the prize to which God calls me — life on high in Christ Jesus" (Phil 3:13-14).

Promise:  "The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them." —Is 50:4

Praise:  George postponed going to Confession through most of Lent. During Holy Week, though, George repented, went to Confession, and received God's grace in abundance.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, October 9, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 14, 2003