The first Saturday of Lent, my wife, son and I were driving in our car about 1 hour from home. We were returning from the funeral service of my business partner’s Mom. We decided to have a Lenten video comparison. For the past couple of years, I have been receiving the daily Lenten emails from Redeemed Online. This comes to my office email. Recently, we also subscribed to a similar service offered through Matthew Kelly’s company Dynamic Catholic.com. Each of these provides an excellent daily message of which I look forward to listening and/or watching.
On this particular Saturday, Redeemed Online’s speaker was Sally Robb. I do not know if I had heard of her before, but I now understand that she is a radio show host.
What she talked about on this day was so profound, so moving, so well-done that I felt compelled to share it with you. Sally’s message was considerably longer than most of the daily messages we receive. But guess what – no coincidences – it was Saturday and we still had almost an hour till home. So Carol held the phone and we listened to Sally. What Carol might not have seen, were the tears welling up in my eyes as I listened and drove.
The opening question was “What does it mean to serve the Lord?” During Lent we think about all the things we should be doing for God. For as Sally explained, we have become “human doings, as opposed to human beings.” Jesus came so we could “see the face of mercy and be saved.” So maybe serving the Lord is about being – not doing.
Sally told the story of talking to a Pro-Life advocate on her radio show. Although she is most certainly Pro-Life, she described this person as obnoxious stating that “any woman who has an abortion is a murderer.” In response, Sally told him, “Jesus loves these women and his heart is broken for them. So many of these women made this terrifying decision in a moment of fear; with those around them also filled with fear. These people were more concerned about what was easy rather than helping them choose what was good.”
“Jesus longs for them to see how much he loves them and he longs to give them the forgiveness that he has been carrying for them. He longs to gather up the broken pieces of their hearts so they can hear him say “behold I make all things new’.”
Six months later Sally meets a young lady whom she describes as “all shiny.” The young lady had listened to the radio program described earlier, while lying in bed. The young woman came out of bed and fell onto the floor weeping! Sixteen years before, she had had an abortion and was sure that God was so disappointed in her that he turned his eyes away from her.
That morning, she realized that Jesus had been standing next to her bed, every day for 16 years; waiting for her to let him love her; waiting for her to let him give her the forgiveness that he was already carrying for her.
After realizing this, the young woman found a great priest to hear her confession. Anticipating a “huge penance”, the priest said to her “in Persona Christi” – in the person of Christ – with mercy, “you have been living your penance for the last 16 years. Now go and be free in the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ!”
That day, when Sally met her, she” saw Jesus standing in front of me, alive on the face of that beautiful woman, set free!”
She let Jesus love and transform her. She let him roll away the stone that was keeping her in the tomb of shame, condemnation and death. She followed him into resurrection!
“I can promise you that everyone who encounters this shining, glorious, beautiful, splendid, alive, compassionate woman, sees the resurrection! Everyone she touches feels mercy, sees hope shining, hears love, whispers “behold I make all things new!”
“So, do you wish to serve the Lord? This Lent, give him your weaknesses, sins, wounds. Let him transform them into a living encounter with breathtaking mercy!”
“Let him make you new! There is no greater service you can give to Him, than to be Christ for everyone you meet today!”
I would encourage you to take in the entire video as you will feel the passion – and compassion – displayed by Sally.
God’s blessings to you and your families during this Lenten season!