Saturday after Ash Wednesday
Today’s readings present us with a choice. We can be content to dwell on our own self-interests, blind to oppression and the injustices inflicted on others, or enlightened by the Lord, we can turn our hearts, minds, and actions towards those in need. The journey of Lent is the journey from darkness into light and God is our guide. Just as the daylight gently pushes away winter’s gloom a little more each day, so the grace of God will renew those who help the afflicted. But this is a task we cannot undertake merely through our own good intention. We are asked to observe the Sabbath, giving over our time and personal interests to honor and delight in the Lord in the celebration of the Sabbath. Only then, strengthened by Christ’s love and nourished by grace, will we truly be prepared to do the Lord’s work.
How often do we set out on the Lenten journey with determination and a plan of self-sacrifice, only to fall flat? We are human, afflicted by sin; imperfection is imbedded in our DNA. We may fail in our Lenten purpose; we will certainly fail, and fail often, in our attempts to fulfill the divine purpose. When we succumb to selfishness or malice, there is always an opportunity to choose again, to start over on the journey, be it for forty days or forty years. In today’s Gospel, Jesus is scolded by the Pharisees and scribes for feasting with the tax collectors. He replies, “I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.” We are the sinners and we are called to repentance, not just for one day or forty days, but always. God is waiting for us to come into the light.
O Lord, teach us to trust in Your patience and forgiveness as we find our way, through fits and starts, into the light of Your everlasting love.
Chris Clary, Director of Career Development
First Reading: Isaiah 58:9b-14
Gospel: Luke 5:27-32Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website