The Gospel message for the third week of Lent, is referred to as the “Last Gospel,” for it talks about how we are battered in life. We are scarred and damaged by our sins. Yet, we find that each and every day of our lives the good Lord gives us that second chance to experience “Metanoia” that change to our heart and soul. We are given that second chance by the touch of the “Master’s Hand.”
Every year now for the past several years, myself and other Deacons from the area, minister to the inmates at the local county jail. This is a very humbling experience. I would like to repeat a story of one inmate who found these two-hour visits to be the turning point in his life. I will call this inmate Mike, who we met, while in jail, a couple of years ago. It was a few months ago that I was approached by a young man who stated he was Mike, the one who we visited in jail, and he thanked me profusely for talking to him about turning one’s life around to Jesus. Mike was able to go back to that fork in the road that led him down a life of addiction and crime. He saw the narrow path, the path that put Jesus number one in his life.
Mike overcame his addictions, was forgiven, and did his time, the consequences for his actions. Since that time Mike met a beautiful young lady and now is making a life together with her, and their newborn daughter. The “Metanoia” in Mike’s life, his change, is apparent as I have talked to him now several times, to the point where once he goes through the necessary procedures, will join us in our jail ministry group. Mike will be able to empathize with the inmates, for he has walked the walk. Now he can talk the talk of one who found Jesus in his life. Please pray for Mike as he must stay focused on the light of truth. For in life’s difficulties it can be so easy to revert back to the wider path of the world.
Lent is that season that we are reminded of second chances, of the one who loved us first. A season where we strive to cultivate our own lives with the truth of the Cross.
I repeat again the beautiful poem that states; Is anybody happier because you passed his way? Does anyone remember that you spoke to him today? The day is almost over, and its toiling time is through; Is there anyone to utter a kindly word of you? Do you give a cheerful greeting to the friend who came along? Or a rude sort of “Howdy” and then vanish in the throng? Were you selfish pure and simple as you rushed along the way, or is someone mighty grateful for a deed you did today? Do you say tonight in parting with the day that is slipping fast, that you helped a single brother of the many that you passed? Is a single heart rejoicing over what you did or said; does a man whose hopes were fading now with courage look ahead? Did you waste the day or lose it, was it well or sorely spent? Did you leave a trail of kindness or a scar of discontent? As you close your eyes in slumber do you think that God would say, YOU HAVE EARNED ONE MORE TOMORROW BY THE WORK YOU DID TODAY?