Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Third Sunday of Lent

When we take the time to speak to Jesus, he will do wonderful things for us, as he did for the woman at the well.  Jesus began by asking the woman to help him by giving him some water, but he ended up giving her more than she could have imagined.  Jesus never judged or condemned her, but she certainly became aware that Jesus knew all about her.  His conversation with her, their give and take, her willingness to learn from him, all of that changed her forever.  She becomes an evangelist as she rushes away to tell others in the town about her meeting the messiah.

Jesus desires to speak to us.  He has something for us to do.  He knows us and loves us, despite our thinking that we are undeserving of his love, attention, and time.  Jesus has something most precious to give to us, namely a relationship with him that will fill our hearts.  St. Augustine said it best centuries ago, “"You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you."

Lent is a time to grow in our knowledge, love, and service of the Lord Jesus.  St. Paul reminds us in the second reading that God has poured the Holy Spirit into our hearts.  The Spirit’s one desire is to lead us more deeply into the mystery of the love of God, incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ.  This will happen when we take time to pray and listen for God’s word to us.

And yet, how often we are like the people of Israel in the desert in the first reading.  We let fear find a place in our hearts.  We grumble and we lose hope. We don’t trust God to provide for us. 

Lent is a time to trust God no matter what we are up against.  We must hold fast to hope, knowing, as St Paul said, that hope does not disappoint.

The woman at the well was filled with faith, hope, and love after speaking to and listening to Jesus.  Her life was changed.  She opened her heart to Jesus and he gave her a new life.  Now he waits to do the same for us.  Remember the psalmist’s prayer, “If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart.”  Instead, as the beloved disciples that we are, we rest close to the heart of Jesus and open our own hearts to receive all that he will give us.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The 2nd Sunday of Lent

The Transfiguration opened the eyes of Peter, James, and John.  They were given a glimpse of what was to come after Jesus had fulfilled his Father's will.  Suffering and death would not be the final word. Faithfulness to the Father would lead to new and eternal life, beyond description.

It was both glorious and frightening.  Jesus was speaking with Moses and Elijah.  The voice of God called Jesus His son.  God told them to listen to Jesus.

Overwhelmed, they fell to the ground.  Then Jesus touched them and told them to rise.  He encouraged them not to be afraid. Opening their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus.

We fall at times and can't see the way forward.  It is then Jesus touches us also and helps us stand.  And God is pleased with us, for rather than giving into fear, we, His beloved, continue on with Jesus, His son.