Wednesday 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

Throughout the Gospels, we find Jesus reminding the everyday people of the Galilee about the power of faith.  For persons mostly stripped by injustice of their dignity and self-worth, to hear that they have the means within their own minds and hearts to overcome emptiness and meaninglessness was both revelation and liberation.  However, as with many of his teachings, Jesus also had to clarify for his listeners what he meant – and did not mean – when he urged them to have faith.  The need for such a lesson is no less important today.

For Jesus, to have faith is to trust in the constant love and providence of God.  Its guarantee is not of unbroken satisfaction, but of unceasing redemption.  Life is imperfect and so will always be filled with setbacks, but none of them will ever have the final word, not even death.  Throughout all of our struggles, God is present and placing his path to fulfillment before us here and now.  And so, regardless of how punishing our days may be, we always can think and act and dream with the confidence that comes from knowing that we can still move forward and higher and that our world can work.

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.”  Are we willing to let go of making our own perspective the only measure of what is possible or best?  Are we trusting enough, especially in the midst of turmoil, to let God be God and to rely on his wisdom and ways?  During Lent, we are called to honesty as we contemplate the character of our desires and the genuineness of our faith.

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.  When we are distracted by the confusion of daily life, help us to slow down and feel in every moment the wonder of your presence.  May our strength and our hope always come from 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.