I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts.

I read in today’s readings that we must pray for all of us for we are all affected by the unjust and criminal acts of the priests/bishops/cardinals who chose to abuse and those who chose to ignore and cover up the abuse.  I pray for the victims of these crimes who for years have had to not only live with pain imposed on them from people they trusted  but who were then shamed by the Bishops when they had to courage to come forward and expose the priests for that wrong and nothing was done to punish the criminal.  But I most also pray for the priests/Bishops/Cardinals; I pray they come to realize the hurt they have caused; I pray for the sheep they have scattered from the flock and I pray for all, including myself, who turned a deaf ear to the situation thinking that there was no way a “man of God” could inflict that kind of pain on one of God’s children.  We must all turn to God and let Him wash us in the waters of salvation.  Our first reading today…

Thus says the LORD:
I will prove the holiness of my great name,
profaned among the nations,
in whose midst you have profaned it.
Thus the nations shall know that I am the LORD, says the Lord GOD,
when in their sight I prove my holiness through you.
For I will take you away from among the nations,
gather you from all the foreign lands,
and bring you back to your own land.
I will sprinkle clean water upon you
to cleanse you from all your impurities,
and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you,
taking from your bodies your stony hearts
and giving you natural hearts.
I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes,
careful to observe my decrees.
You shall live in the land I gave your ancestors;
you shall be my people, and I will be your God.

And our Psalm…

R. (Ezekiel 36:25) I will pour clean water on you and wash away all your sins.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. I will pour clean water on you and wash away all your sins.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you.
R. I will pour clean water on you and wash away all your sins.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R. I will pour clean water on you and wash away all your sins.

We must all pray for that cleansing.  As we read in our Gospel, the invitation has been sent for the banquet – the feast prepared by our King.  Accept that invitation and put on your “wedding garment” for the feast.  As we are told in our Gospel this morning…

He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it
that you came in here without a wedding garment?…

Many are invited, but few are chosen.

Do something great for our Lord today and in the end  – do something great for yourself.  Accept the invitation, prepare for the feast and live in the presence of our Almighty God.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

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