10 '24 Hours for the Lord' - Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp

posted Mar 14, 2018, 9:46 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 14, 2018, 9:59 AM ]
Pope Francis opened the '24 Hours for the Lord' initiative by leading a penitential celebration in St Peter’s Basilica.

Thousands of the faithful gathered together in St Peter's Basilica, responding to Pope Francis' invitation to participate in '24 Hours for the Lord'. The Pope's homily focused on the readings chosen for the penitential celebration: 1 John 3:1-10, 19-22 and Matthew 26:69-75.

God's love surpasses our imagination.

Pope Francis said that John's words provide us with a source of "joy and consolation," knowing that God's love for us is so deep that we are His children. God so loves us that He has made us His children, and, when we see Him face-to-face, we shall discover all the more the greatness of His love (cf. 1 Jn 3:1-10,19-22). Not only that. The love of God is always greater than anything we can imagine; it even reaches beyond any sin with which our conscience may charge us. It is free of all those obstacles that we, for our part, tend to set in front of others, out of fear that they may strip us of our freedom.

His love is an infinite love—one that knows no bounds." It is God's grace that we can rely on in order to strengthen our hope that we will never lack His love, "in spite of any sin we may have committed by rejecting His presence in our lives."

Jesus wants Peter to allow Him to love him.

Peter teaches us that "at times our life has lost its direction," the Pope continued. Peter is startled by a cock crowing. This reminds him of Jesus' words. And Peter understands. Through his tears, Peter begins to see God revealing Himself through Christ. "Peter, who wanted to die for Jesus, now realises that he must let Jesus die for him." This is when Peter experiences the Lord's charity. We know that the state of sin distances us from God. But in fact, sin is the way that we distance ourselves from Him. Yet, that does not mean that God distances Himself from us. The state of weakness and confusion that results from sin is one more reason for God to remain close to us.