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  • Writer's pictureBishop Mesrop Parsamyan

GREAT LENT - Day 2: Tuesday

“Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord God, and not rather that they should turn from their ways and live?” (Ezekiel 18:23)

During Great Lent, the Holy Scriptures constantly remind us of God’s fatherly role and His desire for His children. With the depth of His desire, God wishes for all of us to return from our wrongdoings and waywardness so we may live eternally in His presence. Just as parents wish the ultimate good for their children, our heavenly Father desires the good life for His children. In today's Scripture reading (Ezekiel 18:20-23), God makes two great promises to those who repent and reject their former sinful ways.

The first promise is this: if we reject the ways of the sinful, observe God’s commandants, and walk in the ways of mercy and righteousness, we will inherit eternal life. Often, our sins separate and distance us from our God, and it is precisely due to God’s grace and all-compassionate love that we can receive His forgiveness and enjoy eternal life.

His second promise is that if we repent from sin, God will not remember our sins and wrongdoings. Humans like to remind those who have erred against us that they have wronged us, even if we speak words of forgiveness. However, God neither thinks nor works as human beings do. When God promises His forgiveness, He cleanses us entirely from our sins and graces us with a new future. But, He offers us this grace with the understanding that we ought to take our future steps in His righteousness, turning our back on our previous errors.

God has paved this path of forgiveness and renewal for human beings because He does not wish for anyone to perish in their sins, leading to death. Instead, walking the path of forgiveness enables people to turn away from sin and live. Aprel (“to live”)– in Armenian theology is the core understanding of what it means to be saved. He has made a way for His children to live and flourish in this life on earth.

These two promises of God are cornerstones of spiritual life. Nothing can dispel or invalidate these promises for the human being except each person’s sins. God loves us in such a way that He provided the path for this flourishing life by sending His own begotten Son to our world so that through Him, we may have eternal life and find salvation.

May our response to this unconditional love of God be complete so that we may turn from our wrongdoings and love our Lord God with our entire being – with heart, mind, soul, and strength (Luke 10:27), now and always.

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