Lord, grant me a humble and contrite spirit
1st Week of Lent, Wednesday: 4th March 2020
Jona. 3:1-10; Ps. 51(50):3-4,12-13,18-19;
Lk. 11:29-32 (Ps Wk I)
Psalm 51(50) is one of seven Psalms known as the penitential psalms because they express in a striking manner the meaning and need for repentance. “My sacrifice, O Lord, is a contrite spiri.t” In these words, the Psalmist summarizes a doctrine often preached by the great prophets. Namely, that a sincere interior conversion must parallel the ritual and ceremonial aspects of our religion as we keep turning to God in repentance: our heart must be humbled and contrite.
Humility is a virtue closely related to the truth: we become truly humble, not by despising ourselves or “putting ourselves down” but by deepening our self-knowledge, our awareness of how we fail to live as the image of God and as faithful disciples of Jesus. This self-knowledge gives us the wisdom and the proper motivation to strive for holiness.
This self-knowledge will also include an ever more profound realization that God has loved us from all eternity. God is constant in his affection for us (Jer. 31:3), to the point where he gave his only Son Jesus, who offered the only sacrifice which is inexhaustibly the source of life and grace.
Heavenly Father, during this Lent, grant us a humbled and contrite spirit so that we may walk confidently in the pathways of true holiness.