20 March 2020
Friday of the 3rd Week of Lent
Our lives have greatly changed over the last week as many of us are home almost all the time and practicing social distancing when we do go out. We may find we have more times of quiet, more time with our family, and far fewer things with which to busy ourselves. This temporary normal affords us a great and timely opportunity this Lent to refocus our lives and to listen as we’ve never before. In fact, the Mass readings today invite us to do just that: to re-focus on what should be most central to our lives: our relationship with the triune God and growing our ability to hear and listen to Him, so that we may be a means of drawing down the perfect love and communion of the Heavenly Kingdom into our marriages, families, and neighborhoods.
Both the first reading and Psalm can be summed up by saying: God is God. More importantly, He is our God by the covenants He’s entered into with us, and to which He is always faithful. We are to be attentive to hear Him and respond. What is it God has to say to us? “Return to Me” and “hear My voice”. This, from the God who delivered our ancestors from Egypt, who delivered mankind from the power of sin and death in Jesus Christ, and who invites us at every moment to turn back to Him from whatever way we’ve withdrawn, so that He may heal and restore us to life. We each may initially wonder “in what way have I strayed from Him in laziness or sin?” The answer may not be immediately accessible to us, but it is something God desires to speak into our hearts… in the silence and stillness of each day… not to condemn us – but to raise restore us to Himself! The Lord begs to renew us in His love and Divine Mercy to be fully alive as men and women, reflecting His glory, and to be instruments of that love and mercy we’ve received to whoever is before us each day. Sometimes ‘our brokenness and sin’ and ‘God’s love’ are things we can have confused in our minds. God loves us consistently, totally, and perfectly. We do not need to have our moral lives in perfect order for Him to love us — His love is not in any way dependent upon us, it is a free and constant gift. Each of us must trust that God already loves us, and from there, from that love of His, we want to respond to grow in loving Him and our neighbor more perfectly.
For the remainder of Lent as we navigate this uneasy period, in the stillness of prayer let us embrace this opportunity before us as individuals and as a family, to hear the Lord’s invitation to come to Him as we are: to return to Him if we’ve been away, to open parts of our lives to Him we’ve never before allowed Him access, and to entrust ourselves beyond our sins to His merciful love. In this temporary normal of staying home and social distancing, let us allow the Lord to uncover for us new ways to walk by His grace, to love Him with the whole of our person, and to love our neighbor as He has first loved us. – Brian McCauley
Let us Pray,
Pour your grace into our hearts, we pray, O Lord,
that we may be constantly drawn away from unruly desires
and obey by your own gift the heavenly teaching you give us.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.