Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 25, 2002
Lenten reflections, Scriptural roots
By GLEN ARGAN
We come to the end of our Lenten journey and to the beginning of the Easter season. Have we been fervent enough in our penance? Are we no longer betrayers, but post-resurrection disciples? Usually, change does not come so quickly. We need to keep striving.
But in the Easter season, we also need to dwell in the salvation that has been won. The Holy Spirit is within us and we need to be open to his advances.
Scripture is still the way. There are still the daily readings - the Gospel of John mainly and the Acts of the Apostles for the Easter season. But Paul's letters also open up to us the marvellous world of the Holy Spirit. Don't forget about Scripture because Lent is over. Continue to strive to be at one with God's Word.
Before reading each of these Scripture verses, stop for a minute. Sit silently, breathing in God's presence. Everything is OK. 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 act 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 27
"Someone who has dipped his hand into the dish with me, will betray me." (Matthew 26)
People in public life know that it is those who apparently are on their side - more than their supposed enemies - that they must really watch. Those are the ones who will plant a knife in your back and think they are doing good. But be like Jesus. Don't lash out in return. Find a way of doing something good for them.
Thursday, March 28
"If I do not wash you then you can have nothing in common with me." (John 13)
Not only must we serve, but we must be willing let those who are above us serve us. This reversal can be difficult, both for the servers and the servees. One becomes vulnerable in serving and in being served. And that's where our real values and mission lie - in service, yes, but more deeply in being vulnerable.
Friday, March 29
"I have spoken only for all the world to hear. . . . I have said nothing in secret." (John 18)
Jesus was transparent. And so is his kingdom. Far from him to sneak around, slandering others behind their backs. The slanderers, no doubt, felt self-righteous and justified in their evil scheme. We don't know whether they lost eternal life. But they certainly did lose the verdict of history. Tell the truth, not lies or half-truths, about others. And do it in broad daylight, not in secret.
Saturday, March 30
"Do not be afraid." (Matthew 28)
Holy Saturday is the day given over to fear. The Lord has been slain. His disciples are left. But what are they to do? Are they next on the hit list? But suddenly Jesus is risen. Fear is shown to be false. And he says simply, gently, "Do not be afraid."
Sunday, March 31
"Woman, why are you weeping?" (John 20)
These Easter Gospels are so poignant. Every time I read them, they jump off the page and touch my heart in a way different than any other piece of literature. And when I read them, I have no doubt Jesus is risen from the dead. The impossible has happened. Salvation is ours.
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