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March 10, 2020

Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

There is a dramatic scene in Franco Zeffirelli’s film biography of Saint Francis of Assisi, Brother Sun, Sister Moon, where Francis enters the papal court seeking approval of his movement for living the Gospel simply, poorly. All eyes are upon him. Pope Innocent III is so taken by the sight of this man in peasant garb that he says, “In our obsession with original sin, we too often forget original innocence.”

Sin is real; its consequences pervasive, lasting. The season of Lent is about repenting of sin and returning to the Lord.

The prophet Isaiah had enough of Israel’s sin and infidelity. His oracles denounced the errant ways of God’s people and their leaders. But he also articulated the mercy of God that absolves and restores even the most hardened sinner. The language is among the most beautiful in his book: “Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool.” Such is the love of God!

Before partaking of Communion, the presider at Mass prays what have traditionally been called the “Secret Prayers,” spoken quietly over the paten and the chalice. I have always found the following words particularly powerful: “May the receiving of your Body and Blood, Lord Jesus Christ, not bring me to judgment and condemnation, but through your loving mercy be for me protection in mind and body and a healing remedy.”

The Eucharist is protection and a healing remedy for all. Of what do you repent today?

Let us pray:

“Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love; in your abundant compassion, blot out my transgressions. Thoroughly wash away my guilt, and from my sin cleanse me.” (Psalm 51:3-4)

 

Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)

 

 


About Anthony Schueller, SSS

Father Anthony Schueller was the Provincial Superior of the Province of Saint Ann of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament and the editor of Emmanuel.