Wednesday of the First Week of Lent
This Week’s Intention: That God may bless and protect all those who carry healing and peace to the poor, the outcast, and the forgotten people of the world.
Today’s Gospel | Luke 11:29-32
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”
According to author Max Lucado, “Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. It is the belief that God will do what is right.” The need for such a distinction points to a fundamental question that lies within the spiritual lives of many of us: what does it mean to have faith? For Lucado, it seems that the answer turns on the difference between what we have and what we do.
Faith really is not so much a matter of our particular beliefs or hopes as it is one of placing our trust in the providence of God. In other words, it is not so much about what we hold as it is about what holds us. Faith is being rooted in the conviction that we belong to an ever present Father in whom we know unconditional acceptance and care. Our belief is not that certain things will or will not come our way, but that we are always loved and our lives always matter. Regardless of what we have or do not have, we can think and act and dream with confidence that, inevitably, as Julian of Norwich wrote, “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” Faith is living with the courage that comes from knowing that we are children of God.
During Lent, we are called to contemplate the character of our faith. So often, sin is the result of insecurity. When our faith waivers, we can, as Lucado suggests, confuse filling our lives for fulfilling our lives. However, by drawing on God’s grace to regain patient and open hearts, we once again can see ourselves and our world through the eyes of faith, uniting our wills to God’s in seeking always and only what is right.
Eternal Father, your son went to the cross and into the tomb to overcome the world’s lack of faith. Today we pray to you to help our unbelief. We are easily distracted in the haste of our lives, by every call to go this way or that, to do things that confuse us about the truth. Take from us the burden of our doubts and our blindness to you. Help us to see in this moment our chance to be instruments of your presence to others, to serve those in need and to accompany them to a greater knowledge of you. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
St. John Baptist de La Salle, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts forever.