Come now, let us set things right. 

When the prophet Isaiah speaks of God proposing to “set things right” with Israel, he’s using Hebrew words that suggest arbitration or settling a case between two people. You can almost picture two people sitting across a table from one another, hashing out the details of an agreement. Or figuring out how to split responsibility for a bill.

Setting things right with God: isn’t this what Lent is all about?

Obviously, this isn’t something we can do ourselves. Sure, we can do our part to “make justice [our] aim” through specific actions or decisions (Isaiah 1:17). These actions show that we want to live a just life and follow God’s ways. But each time we fall short, we get a humbling reminder that our part only goes so far. We simply can’t set things right permanently and perfectly.

Thanks be to God, it’s the Lord who does the heavy lifting. He does it by taking our sins, red as scarlet, and making them white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). He sees the reality of our sins, our misdeeds, and our disobedience, and he offers us something we could never accomplish ourselves: the chance to be washed clean (1:16). What we could not do, God does. Through the suffering, death, and resurrection of his Son, he forgives us and restores our relationship with him.

Every time you receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, God powerfully cleanses you and “sets things right.” In Confession, you can bring all the ways that your “aim for justice” was a bit off. You can bring to him all the choices that kept you from loving God and his people. And God does the rest as he absolves you and mends your relationship with him.

Just think—this Lent, you can grow closer to the Lord than ever before! As you make the effort to return to him, he will draw you even closer to himself. He will cleanse you and make you whole. He is waiting for you to approach him, especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Will you open your heart to him and let him set things right?

“Lord, thank you for this season of Lent when I can be reconciled with you!”

Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
Matthew 23:1-12


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