As I requested in my last post, I continue to seek your prayers for those affected by the high school stabbing spree that took place in a nearby high school this past week. Thank God that no one died, but the many kids wounded, some very seriously, and the young man that is charged with the stabbings, and the other students and their parents who lived in fear, deserve our prayers. I ask that you keep them in supportive prayer.
This past week has been a time of "rendering".
It was, in our area, "Confession Week" with regional Lenten Penance Services in our four neighboring parishes. It was a great time in anticipation of Holy Week to "render" our sins to God and welcome the great and awesome healing mercy of the Lord. There are times when we want to avoid the confrontation of our sin and simply acknowledge generically that we are sinners. But there is something very necessary and worthwhile in acknowledging our personal sins, confronting them and placing them in the hands of a merciful Lord. I have heard some say that the Church wants you to state your sins so that you can be made to feel guilty and unworthy. But I find that in the stating of our sins we see clearly the unbelievable mercy and love of God for us, the power of that love expressed in the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross for us, and the truth that our unworthiness because of sin has been conquered by the embrace of his all consuming love. I sensed many moments this week of rendering ourselves to God's mercy and the peace that it brought to those confessing. As I so often say, as a confessor, I find great joy in the experience.
It was also a time for me to "render unto Caesar". With all of us called to do so by April 15th, I presented to the postal service on Friday my 2013 income taxes and check (four days before the deadline!). For me, this is a task that I take no pleasure in, but a duty I perform for the sake of the common good. Render unto Caesar, the Lord said. Duty done.
And lastly for today, I have had to render myself to the limitations of my cold (the one I spoke of last Sunday). Others have told me that they are experiencing something similar - a chest cold that hangs on, with some coughing and a general feeling of tiredness after the least exertion. I have gone to the doc and I am on antibiotics, but my energy is zapped. When you want to be active and need to do the things of this busy season, I do not want to "render" myself to further limitations. Oh, well.