It is 8th March 2017. We celebrate the memorial of St. John of God and the international Women’s day. The readings are from Jonah 3:1-10; and the Gospel from Luke 11:29-32. The first reading strengths our belief in doing penance. “When God saw what, they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.” (Jonah 3:10). God rewards God’s people when they truly and sincerely do the penance for their personal and communal purification. God rewards us when we make penance and God cannot ignore us when we do our penance from our hearts. Our personal sacrifices, charity towards the poor and mortifications could influence God’s intention. Friendship with God is cemented and restored by our penance. Our hope never fades when do we our penance. Our penance is not directed towards God always but it is pointed to change ourselves primarily. As we engage ourselves seriously in our commitment to change by practicing the penance during this Lent, God seems to be closer to our lives and God promises to bless us and forgive us no matter how horribly we have sinned against God and our neighbor. There is still hope in the Lord when we humble and being truly sorry for what we have done. God alone can wipe away our tears caused by sins. In every attempt during this time of grace, we need to examine our pride, and selfishness that makes us to be blind to the sacrificial love of God. God hates our sins not us as the sinner. The responsorial Psalm prays, “A humbled, contrite heart, O God, you will not spurn.” (Ps.50:19). The Gospel reminds us to repent to enjoy the vision and security of God. It is indeed the time to submit to God through the Sacrament of Penance, Reconciliation and Mercy. We can encounter God and God’s only Son, Jesus when we humble ourselves and willing to acknowledge our sins. Ask the guidance and protection of the Holy Spirit to surrender our lives to God. It takes a lot from us to live in holiness. It is does take a lot from us when we continue to live in sin and not making ourselves gradually in want of grace. May you be courageous to humble and return to the Lord during this very special time of the year. May you have a good day.