Ash WednesdayWednesday of the First Week of Lent

Intention: That God may bless and protect all those who carry healing and peace to the poor, the abused, and the forgotten people of our 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.”

A Lenten Reflection

According to 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.”  This 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 might turn on the difference between what we have and what we do.

Faith really is not so much a matter of particular beliefs or hopes as it is of placing trust in the providence of God.  It is about being rooted in the conviction that we belong to an ever-present Father in whom we find 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 the confidence that comes from knowing that we live in the realm of divine possibility.

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, reassured that our worth in this world comes not from what we hold, but from who holds us.

Prayer

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 and confusion of daily life.  Help us to slow down, to feel in every moment the wonder of your presence.  May our strength and our comfort always rest in you.  We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.  Amen.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts forever.