PENANCE & REPARATION


Tuesday in Lent I – SACRIFICE

I have saved sacrifice for the end because it synthesizes everything we have so far said.

• What is sacrifice? Sacrifice is the surrender of something to God.

• Sacrifice is the heart of penance and reparation.

When we sacrifice, we let go with our wills of whatever we could legitimately possess and enjoy because we want to make up to God for having stupidly chosen some creature in preference to the Creator.

We return to where we began by stressing that when we sacrifice, we do
more than we would have done; we give up more than we would have given up; we surrender more of what we like in order to—in plain English—prove to God that we love Him.

There is an episode in the Gospels that perfectly synthesizes this cardinal mystery of sin and penitential reparation. Remember after the Resurrection when Christ asked Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than the others do?” Why the question? Because Peter had sinned; sinned more than the others who had remained faithful to the Master. Peter was expected to love Christ more. Why more? Because he had more to sacrifice in order to expiate more because he had so deeply sinned in denying the Saviour.

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