“Fifteen Minutes” by Sammey Chisholm, Fiat Ventures

Flickr User Long Thien

Third Sunday of Easter

Happy Easter to all; it’s STILL the Easter Season. Lent might seem like a million years ago already, and the memories of giving up chocolate are buried under a mountain of Reese’s peanut butter eggs. Let’s take a trip down memory lane for a moment though, back to some of the things we did for Lent. True, we’re not in a season of penance and sacrifice anymore, but for some of us, we added in some great new habits that we should try to keep so we’re not starting at square one next year!

I know that for my Lent, each day brought something different. Some days I was feeling great, dedicated to my promises, fully immersed in the season. Others, it was hard for me to even spend the bare minimum of time in personal prayer, much less pick my Bible back up, or push away other distractions. The days that were easier were fine, but it was on the days that were challenging that those small wins felt like incredible victories. ESPECIALLY on the days when that was the last thing I wanted to do, I tried to spend time with Jesus in prayer. This continues to be true now in the Easter season as well. No matter what other commitments I have made, those 15 minutes feel like they can make or break my relationship with Christ. A relationship simply cannot grow without that quality time spent together, whether we’re talking about friends and family, or with Jesus.

Maybe you tried something similar for Lent and have been trying to keep it up. When we spend that time in prayer every day, we’ll start to notice patters of things we can work on. It’s funny, that the greatest Saints in our Church’s history have seen themselves as the greatest sinners, because they were so aware of their sins after spending so much time with God in prayer. When we do that, we also become even more aware of God’s love and mercy. In our second reading for the Third Sunday of Easter, John encourages us not to sin, but also reminds us of our merciful Father’s love. John too tells us that we may truly know Him by keeping His commandments.

The topic of sin and repentance are present in all three readings this week. The first reading from Acts tells us to repent, be converted that our sins may be wiped away. Jesus himself tells his disciples in the Gospel of Luke, to preach the forgiveness of sins in his name. This is no coincidence! Following the message of Divine Mercy Sunday last weekend, our Lord is kind and merciful, and desires our return to Him. We are urged in these readings, not twice, but three times to repent. I encourage you this week to seek out the Sacrament of Confession. No matter how fruitful your Lenten season may or may not have been, or how the Easter season is going. No matter how close or far you may feel from our Lord, no matter how long it has been since you have participated;He is longing for you to return home in this way. He is longing for your heart, especially on the most challenging days. Your return to Him is one incredible victory.

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