12 And you, mortal, say to your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not save them when they transgress; and as for the wickedness of the wicked, it shall not make them stumble when they turn from their wickedness; and the righteous shall not be able to live by their righteousness when they sin. 13 Though I say to the righteous that they shall surely live, yet if they trust in their righteousness and commit iniquity, none of their righteous deeds shall be remembered; but in the iniquity that they have committed they shall die 14 Again, though I say to the wicked, "You shall surely die," yet if they turn from their sin and do what is lawful and right-- 15 if the wicked restore the pledge, give back what they have taken by robbery, and walk in the statutes of life, committing no iniquity-- they shall surely live, they shall not die. 16 None of the sins that they have committed shall be remembered against them; they have done what is lawful and right, they shall surely live. (Ezekiel 33:12-16 NRS)
These verses embody the mercy Lent points us to think about. They are words of hope for those who are aware of their shortcomings and words of caution for those who believe they can depend on themselves for their salvation. It is only through the love of God through Jesus Christ that we are saved.
Blessing of Lent,