“Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning” Joel 2:12.
These words from the first reading for Ash Wednesday carry us through Lent – remembering that repentance brings us closer to the Lord. Through a local Catholic blog, The Badger Catholic, comes this story about tears, God and the angels. In turn, it led to the website of St. George Coptic Orthodox Church in Philadelphia. The page speaks of the value of our sorrow and our repentance. It’s about tears. Interesting Lenten reading.
The Most Precious Thing in the World:
God asked three of His angels to go down to earth and bring back to Him the most precious thing in the world. After venturing the world, the three returned to God and submitted their findings. The first reached into his feathers and brought out a vial containing a drop of blood from a person who had sacrificed his life to save another. God said, “Surely this is precious in My sight for there is no greater love than this than for one to lay down his life for his friend, but it is not the most precious thing in the world.”
The second angel reached into his feathers and brought out a vial containing the last breath of a nurse who died from a dread disease she contracted from nursing others to health. God smiled and said, “Surely this is precious in My sight, for doing so to my brethren she had surely done the same for me; but it is not the most precious thing in the world.”
The third angel approached deeply affected by his journey. With a contrite face, the angel reached into his feathers and brought out his findings. The angle captured a tear of a sinner who had repented and returned to God. God beamed upon the angel as He said, “Surely, O angel, you have brought Me the most precious thing in the world—it is the tear of repentance that opens the gates of heaven.”