The key phrase in the first reading is, “… that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:1-11). The gospel tells us that the Pharisees want a “sign” from Jesus. Tired and frustrated, the Lord conveys that no matter what sign he gives, they will not accept it.
In parsing today’s scriptures, I’m drawn to some of Jesus’ fundamental teachings behind today’s message: “Love one another as I have loved you” and “Forgive…seventy times seven times.…” We are not called to judge others or make people happy with “things” but to love.
The calendar shows that Lent is almost upon us. My faith tells me Lent is a time for listening, re-evaluating, and opening our hearts with prayer, fasting, and tithing.
Fasting might be a bad idea these days. Food contains many “unhealthy” products that remain in our physical tissues; ideas seep into our thought processes to change our attitudes. Both become part of who we are, pushing us to accept a “new and improved” self—which is often neither; it’s just “change.” We are not always aware of the things that permeate our physical self and our mental attitudes and seep into our spiritual self. There is no wall between body and soul.
The solution? Go to the Eucharist in adoration. Pray for guidance. Listen. Walk with Jesus. Explore Father Eymard’s writings. We are the conduit of God’s love, moving through our soul, into mind and body, flowing out to others.
Let us Pray:
Lord, help us to embrace the coming season of Lent as a time to fill our hearts with spiritual health as we work to remove the unhealthy. May your Spirit be our guide. Amen.