Reflection for the third Sunday of Lent – Year C

by Fr Martin McComark SDB

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Robert Robinson was an English clergyman who lived in the 18th century. Not only was he a gifted pastor and preacher he was also a highly gifted poet and hymn writer. However, after many years in the ministry his faith began to drift. He left the ministry and finished up in France, indulging himself in sin.

One night he was riding in a carriage with a Parisian socialite who had recently been converted to Christ. She was interested in his opinion on some poetry she was reading: Come thou Fount of every blessing, Tune my heart to sing thy grace, Streams of mercy never failing, Call for hymns of loudest praise.

When she looked up from her reading the socialite noticed Robinson was crying.
“What do I think of it?” he asked in a broken voice. “I wrote it. But now I’ve drifted away from him and can’t find my way back.”
“But don’t you see” the woman said gently, “The way back is written right here in the third line of your poem: Streams of mercy never ceasing. Those streams are flowing even here in Paris tonight.” That night Robinson recommitted his life to Christ.

One of the most powerful messages of the gospel is that the lord will always welcome us back. Just repent . Like Robinson we can sometimes forget and believe we are unforgivable. We get so used to the gospel we switch off on Sundays and say sure we know the story and so we half hear it.

A soap manufacturer and a priest were walking together down a street in a large city. The soap manufacturer casually said, “The Gospel you preach hasn’t done much good has it? Just observe. There is still a lot of wickedness in the world, and a lot of wicked people, too! “The priest made no reply until they passed a dirty little child making mud pies in the gutter. Seizing the opportunity, the priest said, “I see that soap hasn’t done much good in the world either; for there is much dirt, and many dirty people around. “The soap man said, “Oh, well, soap is only useful when it is applied. “And the pastor said, “Exactly, so it is with the Gospel.”

Repentance is one of the most vital doctrines in Scripture, but sadly, it is also one of the most neglected. Repentance is not an occasional act, it is a permanent attitude that allows us to move on. It is a surrender to God which includes sorrow and regret.. How might I repent this lent?
Be humble. Remember: you can lie to other people and you can lie to yourself, but you cannot lie to God. …
Feel and trust God in your heart-he loves you and wants you to respond to this love
Think about what you have done. …
Reflect on why your action was wrong. …
Repent for the right reasons.
Never forget God loves you.