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The Marian Fathers present this Lenten devotional series to help you prepare to receive graces on Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday.

Readings: Is 49:1-6; Ps 71:1-2, 3-4A, 5AB-6AB, 15 and 17; Jn 13:21-33, 36-38
Diary: 225, 1448, 1602

"The cock will not crow before you deny me three times." — Jn 13:38

Ever go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation feeling like a failure? After committing the same sin again and again? Take heart! Look at the example of Peter in today's reading. He wants to follow Jesus — even before he knows where Jesus is going. Peter says, "Master, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you" (Jn 13:37). Jesus foretells that Peter will deny Him, not once, but again and again (see Jn 13:38).

Peter must have been very surprised to hear this prophesy. He has just spoken with conviction that he would "lay down his life" for Jesus. At very least, it was his sincere intention to follow Jesus at all times. But, being human, Peter is weak. He does, indeed, deny Jesus. Three times.

We, too, have weaknesses, and we need God's grace to see us through trials and temptations. We have only a few days left before Easter. Many parishes have penitential services or parish missions at this time. Try to take advantage of the opportunities for grace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Prayer: May I humbly seek Your forgiveness, grace, and instruction in this Sacrament of Mercy.

Missed a day? See previous "From Ashes to Mercy" daily meditations.

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