Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 4, 2002
Lenten Reflections, Scriptual roots
By GLEN ARGAN
The words of Jesus are so precious. If we could hold them in our hands, we would roll them around to gaze upon them from every possible angle.
But we can try to do the same thing with our mind's eye. Look at what Jesus has to say. It is the word of God, the eternal word that holds an eternity of truth within it.
For a few moments, sit silently, breathing in God's presence. Then ask the Holy Spirit to come and be with you. Read the line from the Scripture once and then pause. Then read it again, perhaps many times.
Does it touch any feelings in you? Is it calling you to do something different in your life? Or is it calling you to do the same thing, but to do it differently?
Talk silently with Jesus about how the line affects you? Ask him to be with you at all times. Give glory to Jesus, Son of the living God.
Wednesday, March 6
"Whoever follows these commandments and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5)
Words and action. Not only do we have to follow God's commandments, we have to teach them too. Maybe that's where we're falling down. Our country has a low opinion of Christian teachings. But if we would risk the wrath of others and explain these teachings as clearly and thoughtfully as possible, we might make more headway. And remember Pope Pius XII's words: "The laity are the front lines of the Church."
Thursday, March 7
"Whoever is not with me is against me and whoever does not gather with me scatters." (Luke 11)
I am intrigued by this idea of a person "scattering." It's as though if I am not totally with God then all my energies will desert my soul for parts unknown. I am not an integrated person. I am a person with no centre.
Friday, March 8
"This is the first (commandment): 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and with all your strength." (Mark 12)
Love God and love your neighbour. Those are the two basic commandments. But actually, it is not "love God"; it's love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. That is, with your emotions, your very being, your intellect and your body. Love God totally. Let nothing come between you and the love of God.
Saturday, March 9
"All who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted." (Luke 18)
We heard Jesus speak these same words earlier in Lent in a different context. This repetition emphasizes the importance of humility in God's kingdom. St. Benedict made humility a cornerstone of his rule for monks and distinguished 12 degrees of humility. "We descend (Jacob's ladder) by self-exaltation and ascend by humility," Benedict wrote. Our lives ought to consist in striving to be ever more humble.
Sunday, March 10
"I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see and those who do see may become blind." (John 9)
We tend to pussyfoot around the fact that Jesus came to bring judgment. Not that we should judge; but rather that we should be judged against him. Our lives should be judged against the truth that is God. Some will fail the judgment; others who seem to fail will actually pass. The blind man was treated shoddily by the religious authorities. But he was the only one who saw that Jesus brings life.
Monday, March 11
"Go home, your son will live." (John 4)
Jesus performs a miracle. He cures a young boy, not at arm's length, but many miles away. His power knows no bounds. This miracle is called a sign. It is a sign that Jesus is the Messiah. It is also a sign to us that our prayers will be answered. We can call on Jesus for anything and he will respond.
Tuesday, March 12
"Get up, pick up your sleeping mat and walk." (John 5)
Sometimes we look for magical solutions when the real answer to our problems is right before us. We think someone else holds the answer to our problem when all we need is to be empowered to solve it ourselves. Don't allow yourself to be a victim; stand on your own two feet with God at your side.
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