The invitation of Our Lady is in line with the Lenten season which we entered a few days ago. Figuratively, we can say that the Lenten season is a temple in which God wants to purify us and enrich us with His gifts. The Lenten season allows us to grow in faith.
In the Lenten season we are called to renunciation. It is an exercise and training of our will for freedom. Lent is not about trying, struggling to renounce something, or making big decisions and then barely carrying them out. Nor is it about renunciation, fasting and suffering without heart and love. The purpose and goal of fasting is to restore freedom of spirit, to bring us to the promised land from bondage and slavery to freedom. The Lenten season wants us to throw off the burdens of our souls, to become masters of our own house, i.e., not to allow anything to rule us, such as the modern addictions in which man is trapped.
The meaning of Lent is conversion. Conversion is the grace of recognizing God’s presence in our lives. When Jesus speaks of conversion, he says, “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)
Conversion is a change and opening of mind, heart and soul for the kingdom of God. And, on the other hand, we should turn our backs on the kingdom of Satan and its seductions.
The Lenten season is an invitation to listening to and putting into practice the words of St. Paul, “Do not model your behavior on the contemporary world, but let the renewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern for yourselves what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and mature. ” (Romans 12:3)
The Mother of Jesus and our Mother invites us to keep looking at her Son and to follow him. Our Lady lived with her gaze fixed on Christ and kept in herself his every word. To develop a living relationship with Jesus, Our Lady can help us to contemplate the face of Christ and to know his heart and mercy.
To “keep looking at Jesus”, as Our Lady invites us to do, means to change our thinking and mentality, to experience a transformation of our views, relationships and attitudes. Our Lady is all focused on Jesus and all filled with Jesus. She knows that only by contemplating the mysteries of his life, passion, death and resurrection can we experience salvation, redemption and forgiveness. Only in Jesus do we discover the truth and mystery of our own lives.
Pope Francis, in the Bull Misecordiae vultus (The Face of Mercy), points out that Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy. In him, God has shown us all his love. Let us allow Our Lady, the Mother of Mercy, to bring us to her Son Jesus so that we may experience what God wants to give us during this Lenten season.
Let us pray:
Our Lady, the Queen and Mother of Peace, we thank you for never ceasing to call us, your children, and to warn us of the dangers to which we are exposed, both as individuals and as a whole world. You look at us with motherly eyes and with a heart that loves and suffers for your children. You do feel pain for every human heart that suffers, for every heart that is hard and wounded. Through your apparitions and messages, you show us that you are the Mother of Hope, because you do not stop believing and hoping in us and for us. You, Mary, who know best the omnipotence and mercy of God, grant us, your children, the grace of sincere conversion and faith in God’s promises of peace for us and for the whole world. We also want to pray, fast and believe with you, Mother of Peace, that God has the last word over our destiny and the destiny of the whole world. Amen.