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Why Catholic? Meet Bishop Edward C. Malesic

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Fourth Sunday of Lent — March 27, 2022

Bishop’s Reflections

March 27, 2022

For every day during Lent, Bishop Edward Malesic writes a Scripture reflection for the faithful. Follow the bishop on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Click HERE for the readings.

Fourth Sunday of Lent — March 27, 2022

Jesus was given the mission of reconciliation with God by uniting heaven and earth, divinity and humanity, in his own person. The reconciliation of humankind with God was sealed by the blood of the cross, where Jesus offered himself in sacrifice for the sins of the world. Then he asked his followers to do the same — to be reconcilers.

In today’s Gospel, we hear the quintessential story of reconciliation. A wayward son returns home and his father receives him back with forgiveness and great joy. The parable of the Prodigal Son has moved millions of hearts to take the chance to return to God and Church.

This is our story too, if we understand that we travel away from God the Father every time we sin. Which one of us has been without sin? Yet, when we come back to him, having sorrow for our sins and with the intention to do our best to sin no more, God welcomes us always with open arms. This love changes us into people who desire to do our best for God and neighbor. This reconciliation happens in a most powerful way in the sacrament of reconciliation, where we receive the absolution of the priest, who acts as the ordained representative of Jesus himself. Among my most moving times have been in the confessional, both as a confessor who hears confessions and as the person who admits his sins to the one hearing my own confession.

This past Friday, the Holy Father Pope Francis consecrated Russia and Ukraine to Mary. She is the person who first showed the face of the Father’s love for us when she gave birth to Jesus. She sits as Queen Mother in Heaven. She has the ear of Jesus. She is the one who asked Jesus to perform his first miracle at Cana and Jesus granted her that favor. Her prayers for peace in Ukraine and Russia are powerful — and we ask that her prayers change the hearts and minds of those who foment hatred and violence and give courage to those who are struggling for peace and security in their own homeland.

We also ask for our own personal reconciliation with God, especially as we move forward to the glory of the Resurrection that will be ours someday. We ask for reconciliation among quarreling family members and those who are estranged from one another. We ask for reconciliation among enemies. We ask Mary to take us to her Son, who is the giver of peace between Heaven and Earth. May the Kingdom of God take root in all places and peoples of this world.

May the Lord bless us with forgiveness — and once forgiven, may we have the heart to be peacemakers ourselves.

Let us once again read the words of Saint Paul given to us in today’s second reading:

So we are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.

Have a blessed (and peaceful) week everyone.

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